What causes lightning and thunder?

What causes lightning and thunder?

Credit: AP photo

What causes lightning and thunder?

Print
Email
|

by Evan Stewart

WVEC.com

Posted on March 16, 2010 at 5:58 PM

Updated Tuesday, May 31 at 2:41 PM

Each year, nearly 100 people are killed by lightning, more than hurricanes and tornadoes combined. And with temperatures approaching 50,000°F, it's easy to see why lightning is one of the most dangerous of weather phenomena.

Lightning occurs when electricity flows between two objects of opposing electric charge. Lightning can occur within a cloud, between clouds, and from a cloud to the ground. 

The lightning bolts that concern us most are those which travel from clouds to the ground because they can kill people and start fires.

 

 

Lightning Safety Tips

Outside:

  • At the first sign of lightning, clear the area immediately. If this is not possible, take cover immediately in a sturdy building. An automobile can also offer fair protection. Avoid tall objects like flag poles and lights. And never take shelter under a tree.
  • If you are boating or swimming, get off the water and take shelter away from the water.
  • If you are stuck in a wooded area, seek shelter under a thick growth of small trees, avoiding tall trees.
  • If you begin to feel you hair stand on end, squat down on the balls of your feet with your head between your knees. Never lay flat. Cover your ears to protect them from the damaging noise.

Inside:

  • Avoid using the telephone (except for emergencies) or other electrical appliances.
  • Unplug electrical equipment (including the computer modem).
  • Do not take a bath or shower.

Print
Email
|