Severe Weather Awareness Week: Lightning Facts and Safety Tips

It's day four of Severe Weather Awareness Week and today's topic is lightning. 

Fun fact: Lightning is 5 times hotter than the surface of the sun (50,000°F vs 10,000°F).

Nebraska sees an average of 773,000 lightning strikes per year, and 681,000 strikes per year in Iowa. Overall, the United States averages 22,000,000 strikes per year.

Thankfully, lightning strike deaths are down, but the top five states that have the most lightning deaths are:

1. Florida
2. Texas
3. Arizona
4. Colorado
5. Alabama

As the weather continues to get nicer, more and more people will be spending time outside. Whether you're at the pool, lake, soccer field, baseball diamond, golf course, or any other outdoor event, when thunderstorms pop up, lightning is a major concern. The key to lightning safety is to remember: "When thunder roars, go indoors." Indoors could be a bathroom at the park, or even your car.

Some other lightning safety tips include:

-Stay away from windows

-Avoid washing dishes or taking a shower

-Don't use any devices that are plugged in to an outlet

-Bring your pets inside before the storm hits

-Wait at least 30 minutes after the last lightning strike before going back outside or into the water

The bottom line of lightning safety is to get inside as quickly as possible.

Severe Weather Awareness Week continues with the following topics:

Friday: Flooding

Saturday: How to Report Severe Weather

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