No place outside is 100 percent safe from lightning during monsoon season. However, there are some precautions you can take to minimize your risk. Darren and I like staying home if we don’t have to go out, which I believe is the best policy.
Plan Ahead For Lightning
The best way to avoid lightning, flash floods and other dangerous conditions is to not put yourself, family or friends in danger in the first place. Weather information is all around you. You can:
- Download a weather app
- Watch the weather forecast on TV/Internet
- Listen to weather reports on the radio
- Tune in on your NOAA weather radio
- Scan the skies 360 degrees around you and overhead
Use The 30/30 Rule
This is a simple and great rule to adhere to. The 30/30 rule:
- When you see lightning, count the time until you hear thunder
- If this time is 30 seconds or less, seek shelter
- Find a covered shelter, or the next best choice is a metal-topped vehicle
- Wait at least 30 minutes after seeing the last lightning strike or hearing the last thunder before going back outside
If fewer than 30 seconds between the time you see a flash and hear the thunder, then the flash is less than 6 miles away. Research has shown that the distance between successive flashes can be anywhere from 2-6 miles. That means you should begin seeking shelter.
Lightning fatalities and injuries tend to occur more often at the end of a storm. At the end of storms, there is often still a risk of lightning even though rain has ended or diminished and the lightning rate is low. You should remain indoors for 30 minutes after hearing the last thunder in order to minimize the risk at the end of storms.
- If caught outside during a monsoon, seek shelter in a nearby building or car.
- If no safe shelter is available, squat low to the ground, making yourself as small a target as possible
- Stay away from poles, trees, or metal objects
- Stay away from lakes and rivers.
- Use the 30/30 rule for your own personal safety if a thunderstorm comes up while you are outdoors.
- Trees must be avoided in thunderstorms. Picnic shelters, covered bus stops, dugouts or partially covered bleachers do not provide protection from lightning strikes.
Darren and I wish you to stay dry and safe out there!
Have a great day,
(520) 631-TONY (8669)