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A Lightning Strike from a Clear Sky

Contributed by James Bria, CompuWeather Sr. Forensic Meteorologist and Weather Expert

The summer is filled with barbeques, hot and humid weather, outdoor activities and of course thunderstorms. With the outdoor activities at their peak this time of year, thunderstorm and lightning safety is of the utmost importance. All too often tragedies occur when simple precautions could have been taken to save lives. The simple fact remains; there are no safe places outside during a thunderstorm. As soon as you hear thunder, you should immediately go inside and wait for the thunderstorm to pass.

We see a few instances every summer season when a person is struck by lightning during normal outdoor activity. What most people don’t realize is that a thunderstorm cloud doesn’t even need to be overhead in order for you to get struck by the lightning from it. Lightning can affect an area that is a few miles away from the thunderstorm cloud. There have been numerous times that CompuWeather’s meteorologists have reviewed weather conditions for an instance where a person was struck by lightning and the only cloud in the sky was a thunderstorm a mile or more away.

You should always be aware when thunderstorms are expected and when they do threaten, have a plan in order to protect lives and remain safe.