Lightning Awareness

By: Jeff Morrow Email
By: Jeff Morrow Email

Thunderstorms produce some of the most powerful weather on earth and the most dangerous aspect of thunderstorms is usually lightning.

For the last 10 years, lightning has killed and injured more people in Colorado than any other thunderstorm hazard, with an average of 3 fatalities and 15 injuries each year. Colorado lead the country in number of lightning fatalities in the 2006 with 6 deaths.

Nearly half a million lightning bolts strike the ground in Colorado each year. One bolt of lightning could power several homes for a month because each stroke contains millions of volts of electricity.

Metal objects and water are good conductors of lightning. Jim Pringle of the National Weather Service says, "We recommend that the safest place to be during a thunderstorm is inside of an enclosed building or a vehicle, a metal roof vehicle with all the windows and doors closed."

But if you can't find a building or get to your car, the next best thing is to crouch in a low lying field or ditch.

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