Run, Hide, Duck - It's Lightning Time Again

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Run, Hide, Duck - It's Lightning Time Again

NATION - 6/24/2008

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By Pete Hurrey

People die every year. They die in their back yard grilling hotdogs. They die sitting on their porch. People die playing golf. Others die playing volleyball on the beach. The point is: People die, and, during this time of year; they die because they are struck by one of the most prevalent killers of all — lightning.

So far this year, lightening has killed 11 and injured 94, nationally, according to The National Severe Storms Web site reports that from 1990 to 2003, 12 have been killed in Maryland. As June 22 to 28 is Lightning Awareness Week, it is an appropriate time to consider these life-threatening phenomena.

The Bay Net was out during this week's thunderstorms
and caught the power of lightning firsthand in the
slide show included with this article.

Thunderstorms are most prevalent in late spring and summer. The heat of the day causes air to rise and collide with the cold air above. As the two air masses mix, clouds and friction occur and static electricity forms. The electricity builds until a great deal accumulates in clouds, and the pent up electricity escapes as lightning striking the ground.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Web site,, describes ways for people to protect themselves from lightning: 1) watch for developing thunderstorms and 2) when storms approach, seek shelter immediately.

If you hear thunder, there is a danger of lightning. Lightning can strike as far away as 10 miles from the edge of the cloud that contains the excess static electricity. People indoors should avoid working with corded phones and unplug appliances.

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