(WWLP) – Lightning kills an average of 30 people per year in the United States. You may know that it’s dangerous, but there’s a lot you may not know about it.
WHEN THUNDER ROARS, GO INDOORS
Lightning can strike up to 15 miles away from a storm, which means that you don’t need to be in the rain to be struck by lightning. So, if you hear thunder, you are close enough to be struck by lightning.
TYPES OF LIGHTNING
Lightning is caused by a buildup and discharge of energy between positively and negatively charged areas.
There are two types of lightning: Cloud to cloud and cloud to ground lightning.
Cloud to cloud lightning occurs when lightning passes within or between clouds and never reaches the ground. Cloud to ground lightning, the most dangerous type, happens when lightning strikes the ground from the cloud.
FIVE SECOND RULE
During a storm, you can figure out how far away lightning is from you by using the five second rule. When you see lightning, start counting, and stop counting when you hear thunder. For every five seconds you count, the lightning strike is one mile away.
For example, if you count 15 seconds between seeing lightning and hearing thunder, the storm is three miles away.