Archive for Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Weather myths and facts

March 11, 2009



If it’s not raining, there is no danger from lightning.


Lightning often strikes outside heavy rain and may occur as far as 10 miles away from any rainfall.


The rubber soles of shoes or rubber tires on a car will protect you from being struck by lightning.


Rubber-soles of shoes and rubber tires provide NO protection from lightning. The steel frame of a hard-topped vehicle provides increased protection if you are not touching metal. Although you may be injured if lightning strikes your car, you are much safer inside a vehicle.


The low pressure with a tornado causes buildings to “explode” as the tornado passes overhead.


Winds and debris slamming into buildings cause most structural damage.


When playing sports and thunderstorms threaten, it’s okay to finish the game before seeking shelter.


Sports is the activity with the fastest-rising rate of lightning casualties. No game is worth death or lifelong severe injury. All people associated with sports should have a lightning safety plan and stick to it strictly. Seek proper shelter immediately when lightning threatens. Adults are responsible for the safety of children.


A lightning victim is electrified. If you touch them, you’ll be electrocuted.


The human body doesn’t store electricity. It is safe to administer first aid to a lightning victim. Imagine someone dying needlessly, for want of simple CPR or mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

More facts:

• Flash flooding is the No. 1 cause of deaths associated with thunderstorms.

• Two feet of water on a bridge or highway can float most vehicles. Nearly half of all flood fatalities are vehicle related.

• Tornadoes can occur at any time of the year and have occurred in every state.

• The energy from one lightning flash could light a 100-watt bulb for more than three months.

• The air near a lightning strike is heated to 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

• Codell, Kan., was struck by tornadoes on the same day in three consecutive years — May 20, 1916, 1917 and 1918.

• Of the victims who were killed by lightning in 2007:

• 98 percent were outside

• 89 percent were male

• 30 percent were males between the ages of 20 and 25

• 25 percent were standing under a tree

• 25 percent occurred on or near the water


gr 6 years, 8 months ago

"The energy from one lightning flash could light a 100-watt bulb for more than three months."

Something tells me that is an understatement.

"98 percent were outside • 89 percent were male"

Hmmm.... And who wants to go outside to get a good view of the storm?

missmia 6 years, 8 months ago

"Sports is the activity with the fastest-rising rate of lightning casualties"

shouldn't it be "sports are the activities with..."?

gphawk89 6 years, 8 months ago

Average lightning bolt = 500 megajoules = 500,000,000 watt-seconds. So the 100-watt bulb would run for 5,000,000 seconds, or 58 days. So surprisingly it was actually an overstatement.

gr 6 years, 8 months ago

Ah.... So, 500 MJ is about 139 KW hours with the lightbulb at .1KW giving 1390 KW hours or 58 days.

I guess every time they talk about lighting in the news, they act as if 500MJ is a great big number. It's not really. Except when 58 days of electricity of a light bulb runs through you in a fraction of a second.

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