FALLING SKIES: Lightning & Hail

Lightning is the most underestimated weather hazard. Nearly 25 million bolts of lightning strike each year in the United States, and they kill more people each year than tornadoes and hurricanes.

If you can hear thunder, then lightning is within striking distance. Almost all lightning will occur within 10 miles of its parent thunderstorm, but it can strike as far as 50 miles away!

Fixr.com Lightning Infographic

If you are outdoors when a storm is approaching, avoid open fields and hilltops. Also, do NOT go near trees, bodies of water, or large metal objects. If you can, immediately head indoors. But if you can’t make it inside, stay low to the ground in an open area (but not lying flat). Once 30 minutes have passed since the last lightning strike, it’s safe to head back outdoors.

Hail is one of the more unusual and surprisingly destructive weather hazards in the world.

Hailstorms often occur as part of other severe weather events, most notably hurricanes and tornadoes. But they can happen during a heavy thunderstorm and sometimes even just on their own! Never go outside during a Hailstorm, and if you are outside, find shelter under something strong and sturdy immediatly!

If you’re in a car when hail strikes, stay in your vehicle! Pull over under shelter if possible, or at least slow down and safe, as roads may become slippery (hail IS ice, after all!) When your car has stopped, turn away from windows and cover yourself with a blanket or heavy jacket just in case the windows shatter!