Hazardous Weather Focus: Lightning

By: Meteorologist Ray Hawthorne Email
By: Meteorologist Ray Hawthorne Email

This week is hazardous weather awareness week in Florida. Each day this week, weather professionals and emergency managers focus on a natural phenomenon that can turn deadly.

Lightning can look spectacular against the backdrop of a night sky, but looks are often deceiving. The temperature of a strike can be hotter than the surface of the sun -- more than 50-thousand degrees Fahrenheit.

Florida and Georgia are known for their hot and humid weather during the spring and summer months. Storms often develop along seabreezes and collide with each other, causing even more lightning-producing storms.

Florida leads the nation in lightning deaths annually and Georgia ranks 17th according to a U.S. government report.

Experts say taking lightning seriously and monitoring the weather forecast are a must if we all do not want to become a statistic.

The latest lightning research says crouching down in a low spot away from trees is the best thing to do if you are caught outside in an electrical storm. Your car is also a safe place, but being inside your home is the safest spot during a thunderstorm.

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