22 Things You Didn’t Know About Thunderstorms
Thunder and lightning are much more complex than you think.
Lightning is everywhere
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Lightning strikes more than eight million times a day worldwide. That’s about 93 times per second. Read more thunderstorm facts about lightning strikes.
Don’t drive in water
The first rule of driving through a flooded area is: Don’t. At least half of all flood-related drownings happen when folks drive a vehicle into water, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Just 6 inches of standing water can cause your engine to stall and you to lose control of your car, and a foot can sweep your car off the road. In a flood that means you could sink or drown.
It’s hotter than the sun
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How hot is a lightning bolt? About 50,000°F—five times hotter than the surface of the sun.
Believe it or not, the period after a severe weather event is usually the most dangerous
You have fallen trees, downed power lines, flooding, debris, broken glass and sharp objects all over the place. And because stoplights don’t work and people are upset, they tend to blow through intersections, so car wrecks are common and are sometimes fatal.
Yes, it really can rain frogs, fish, and other decidedly odd things
It’s a rare meteorological event, but one of the weirdest thunderstorm facts is that scientists say strong winds from a tornado or from a storm can be powerful enough to propel animals and objects high into the air, and they have to come down eventually. A small Australian town reported hundreds of fish falling from the sky in 2010.
It is a bad idea to take a shower during a thunderstorm
If lightning hits your house, it can travel through your plumbing and shock anyone who comes into contact with water flowing through it. People have been shocked or killed while bathing, washing dishes, and doing laundry. (This is also why indoor pools often close during storms.) These are the secrets TV weather forecasters won’t tell you.
Don’t take shelter under wooden structures
The “shelter” at your local park, golf course or pool may protect you from sun and rain, but in a thunderstorm, it can be a death trap. Unless a shelter is specifically built with lightning protection (most aren’t), standing under a wooden structure actually increases your chances of being struck by lightning. Wait out the storm in your car instead.
Many serious problems caused by a power outage are water-related. When a storm is on the way, hoard water. Fill buckets, pots and pans, old soda and milk bottles as well as your sinks and bathtub. You’ll need water for drinking, washing, and flushing the toilet.