by Caleb, KE0FOE
Did you know that lightning strikes the United States about 25 million times a year. Although most lightning occurs in the summer, people can be struck during any season and even when it’s snowing! Lightning kills an average of 47 people in the U.S. annually, and hundreds more are severely injured.
Lightning can reach as hot as 50,000 degrees Farenheit. That’s 5 times hotter than the surface of the sun! And one lightning strike contains enough electricity to keep a 100 watt light bulb lit for more than 3 months.
You should always take shelter whenever you’re outdoors and a thunderstorm is near. Even if it’s clear and not raining where you are, lightning can strike as far away as 10 or 15 miles from the storm. If you’re close enough to hear thunder, you’re close enough to be struck by lightning. Remember: “When thunder roars, go indoors.”
For tips and information about lightning safety, please visit this webpage produced by the National Weather Service.