Tuesday’s topic for severe weather awareness week is lightning. Lightning is the 3rd deadliest thunderstorm hazard, and is especially deadly during the summer months.

From May through August, 80% of Arkansas’s lightning deaths occur. And nationally, 73% of lightning deaths occur in June, July, and August according to the CDC.

Lightning statistics

Lightning can affect anyone, but men are more likely to be struck than women. Outdoor leisure activities and outdoor work activities are responsible for 8 out of 10 lightning-related deaths.

Lightning fatalities by month: CDC

To protect yourself from lightning, remember the saying ‘when thunder roars, go indoors.’ Lightning can travel up to 12 miles from a thunderstorm. If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to get struck by lightning.

If you can find a structure, that is the best place to be. You can also take shelter in a car. After the thunder ends, it is best to wait 30 minutes before returning outside.

Lightning safety tips

When indoors, it’s best to avoid windows and doorways. If you have a basement or lower level that is the best place to be. interior rooms without windows are also safe places.

When lightning storms occur, try to avoid any plumbing, taking showers, and washing dishes. Also, avoid any plugged-in appliances or electrical equipment.

Indoor lightning safety

It’s important to go inside as soon as you hear lightning because it happens very fast. The entire process of lightning forming and striking something happens in less than a second.

How lightning forms

There are also several different types of lightning. The most common is intracloud, which is when lightning occurs within the cloud. Cloud-to-ground lightning is also fairly common. Occasionally you will see cloud-to-sky lightning as well.

Cloud-to-cloud lightning is fairly uncommon, along with positive cloud-to-ground lightning. Ground-to-cloud lightning is very rare to see.

Types of lightning

Stick with the Arkansas Storm Team for details on the rest of this week’s topics for severe weather awareness week. If you missed yesterday’s topic, follow the link below!


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