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Old 15.07.2009, 14:08
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Lightning Risk

I rather enjoy storms, and, so long as they're not directly overhead, don't mind being outside in them.

But I just read this page of lightning safety advice and am beginning to wonder.

How much of this should I take seriously? Is lightning really dangerous up to 30 minutes after the storm has passed? Is the advice to stay indoors if you can hear the thunder less than 30 seconds after the lightning just a tad overcautious?

Has anyone got any lightning horror stories they wish to share?
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Old 15.07.2009, 14:11
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Re: Lightning Risk

It'll make you go blind

http://www.gladiatorszone.co.uk/glad...ale/lightning/
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  #3  
Old 15.07.2009, 14:14
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Re: Lightning Risk

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I rather enjoy storms, and, so long as they're not directly overhead, don't mind being outside in them.

But I just read this page of lightning safety advice and am beginning to wonder.

How much of this should I take seriously? Is lightning really dangerous up to 30 minutes after the storm has passed? Is the advice to stay indoors if you can hear the thunder less than 30 seconds after the lightning just a tad overcautious?

Has anyone got any lightning horror stories they wish to share?
That article is surely beyond paranoid. I think you're pretty safe unless you're out in open ground.

Most stories I've read about people being struck by lightning are golfers or park rangers, footballers seems a recent addition.
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Old 15.07.2009, 14:15
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Re: Lightning Risk

LOL, good topic, especially this time of year!

Old Swiss school says to close all windows when a lightning storm hits,
because the lightning could pass through the house if two windows are
open - like a good breeze does. Of course I tried to explain that this is not
possible... forget it, they don't want to hear any explanations... just close
the windows!
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Old 15.07.2009, 14:28
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Re: Lightning Risk

In the company where I worked in Lancashire there was a farmer's field opposite the office with a couple of trees dotted around. One afternoon we were absent mindedly watching a thunderstorm going on outside when a lightning strike hit one of the trees almost obliterating about a third of it in a shower of sparks and general spectacularness.

The odd thing is that the remaining part of the tree survived and continued to shed and regrow its leaves as if nothing had happened. The bough which had been blown off was left as a charred reminder until the farmer cleared it away the following spring.

The field also regularly hosted a young lady exercising her horse in a very bouncy manner in a very tight lycra vest and leggings so we used to joke that the lightning strike was a warning to all the pervy guys in the office spending too much time dribbling and ogling when they should be working.
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Old 15.07.2009, 14:31
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Re: Lightning Risk

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I rather enjoy storms, and, so long as they're not directly overhead, don't mind being outside in them.

But I just read this page of lightning safety advice and am beginning to wonder.

How much of this should I take seriously? Is lightning really dangerous up to 30 minutes after the storm has passed? Is the advice to stay indoors if you can hear the thunder less than 30 seconds after the lightning just a tad overcautious?

Has anyone got any lightning horror stories they wish to share?
Lightning can strike up to 20 miles away and you wouldn't normally be able to hear thunder at that distance. You might even be standing under a clear blue sky when you get struck.
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Old 15.07.2009, 14:39
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Re: Lightning Risk

I was with a walking group in Apenzellerland some years ago. Toward the end of our walk the sky darkened and an almighty thunderstorm threw hail down on us with lightening flash so often that it was impossible to tell which thunder crash was from which flash.

Hail really, really hurts when it's the size and consistency of glass marbles and we had to put our arms over our heads to reduce the pain.

What had been little streams just a few minutes before, turned into thrashing brown rivers.

The point of this tale is that all one has ever learnt and been told about what to do in thunder storm goes out of the window in a situation like this. What did everyone do? Run under trees to shelter. The bigger the better. It took some courage to stand out in the open and try to my ones way down to the valley...
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Old 15.07.2009, 14:42
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Re: Lightning Risk

yes and my grandmother used to cover the mirrors...
also thought she was really weird until i watched the avo tree (at least 6m high) being hit by lightning and split in 2 down the middle - very scary stuff!
at our previous house a tree was hit by lightning which ripped out the top 30cm of a brick wall that was standing next to it - and we had to fix the wall, because it was our tree and the neighbours wall lol!
i don't know about CH but in south africa, every summer had lightning related deaths on the golf courses...
so when lightning starts, i go indoors - and watch the show from under cover...
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  #9  
Old 15.07.2009, 14:42
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Re: Lightning Risk

You can perform a simple but effective test to see if you are susceptible to lightening strike, simply obtain a two metre long fluorescent tube and wearing something of rather poor insulating properties such as hob nail boots, stand under the largest electricty pilon you can find. Wave the tube aloft as high as you can. If the tube lights up then you are at risk otherwise you're OK. You can also try this test using a long aluminium rod and you might try using a seperate earth strap made from copper wire for proper test conditions.
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Old 15.07.2009, 14:43
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Re: Lightning Risk

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I was with a walking group in Apenzellerland some years ago. Toward the end of our walk the sky darkened and an almighty thunderstorm threw hail down on us with lightening flash so often that it was impossible to tell which thunder crash was from which flash.

Hail really, really hurts when it's the size and consistency of glass marbles and we had to put our arms over our heads to reduce the pain.

What had been little streams just a few minutes before, turned into thrashing brown rivers.

The point of this tale is that all one has ever learnt and been told about what to do in thunder storm goes out of the window in a situation like this. What did everyone do? Run under trees to shelter. The bigger the better. It took some courage to stand out in the open and try to my ones way down to the valley...
Standing under a tree to shelter is the worst place to be as it increases the chances of your getting struck by lightning.
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Old 15.07.2009, 14:44
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Re: Lightning Risk

If you are caught on a golf course during a storm and are afraid of lightning, hold up a 1-iron. Not even God can hit a 1-iron. ~ Lee Trevino

Always made me laugh antil I met somebody who's dad was hit by lightning on a golf course.
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Old 15.07.2009, 14:46
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Re: Lightning Risk

My parents also used to switch the telly off and wouldn't use the phone during a thunderstorm. Although I think on the old systems that was common advice, no?
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Old 15.07.2009, 14:46
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Re: Lightning Risk

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Lightning can strike up to 20 miles away and you wouldn't normally be able to hear thunder at that distance. You might even be standing under a clear blue sky when you get struck.
The original "Bolt from the Blue"!! It's positively charged , rather than
negatively charged as "normal" bolts are, and carries approx 10 times
the current of normal lightning.

Now, that's gotta hurt
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Old 15.07.2009, 14:46
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Re: Lightning Risk

When I lived in New York, lightning hit a tree on our street with a car parked underneath it. It didn't do any massive damage to the tree, but the car was totalled - it knocked out all of the electrics in it.
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Old 15.07.2009, 14:48
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Re: Lightning Risk

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The original "Bolt from the Blue"!! It's positively charged , rather than
negatively charged as "normal" bolts are, and carries approx 10 times
the current of normal lightning.

Now, that's gotta hurt
Yeah but look on the bright side, at least it has a positive attitude
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Old 15.07.2009, 14:49
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Re: Lightning Risk

Hot off the (Austrian) Press:

http://www.kleinezeitung.at/nachrich...erletzte.story

During a soccer practice and a fun match, lightning struck and 25 people were taken to local hospitals.

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Old 15.07.2009, 14:50
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Re: Lightning Risk

I heard somewhere that when lightning hits a tree the tree doesn't burn but the moister inside it boils instantly which causes the exploding effect. Now that's gotta hurt!
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Old 15.07.2009, 14:51
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Re: Lightning Risk

There was that British chap in Spain who was killed by a lightning strike from a storm that did't even appear on the horizon. What had happened was that there was an odd weather system that had caused a front between warm and cold air that ran at a funny angle from the storm area through to where this guy was. Where the two air masses met, water had started to condense and the lightning ran down this.
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Old 15.07.2009, 14:53
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Re: Lightning Risk

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Standing under a tree to shelter is the worst place to be as it increases the chances of your getting struck by lightning.
I think AbFab knows that, Captain Obvious.
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Old 15.07.2009, 14:53
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Re: Lightning Risk

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Standing under a tree to shelter is the worst place to be as it increases the chances of your getting struck by lightning.
err, i always thought it was the risk of injury from the exploding tree was what did the damage? lighting will take the shortest path to ground, so unless you're standing in a sapling park pretty much every tree is going to be taller than you!

check out NASA and their lighting protection: they have a 10 AND 20 mile exclusion zone for 'weather' (particular types of storm clouds etc) around their launch sites to protect the shuttle etc. the most recent attempts to launch this week and last weekend have been postponed as a result of this.
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