Some truths about lightning: when thunder roars, go indoors

Suspect99

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Try re-posting this article in October when the summer season starts. Winter in SA has effectively zero lightning risk...
Raining .. lovely .. oops gutter is blocked. Not afraid to get wet. Grabs ladder, unblock gutter.
Lightning strikes 50m away.

Left ladder for next day, went to change my wet pants. Vowed to never do that again!
Uhm Cape town would disagree with you
 

Gordon_R

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Uhm Cape town would disagree with you

I live in Cape Town. We get a handful of lightning strikes per square km per year, mostly in autumn. Compared to the summer rainfall areas that is close to zero risk.

Edit: Some scientific papers: http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0038-23532012000200013

 
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Jabulani22

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I thought getting hit by lightning causes the same as being exposed to gamma rays or radioactive spider bites .....
 

neoprema

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I've always been a bit paranoid about lightning. I have 0 intention of being outdoors when its cloudy, soon as i see even a bit of black clouds i'm out of there.

Its one of my top 3 fears, along with being in a plane crash while sleeping and being tortured.
 

cpu.

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I've always been a bit paranoid about lightning. I have 0 intention of being outdoors when its cloudy, soon as i see even a bit of black clouds i'm out of there.

Its one of my top 3 fears, along with being in a plane crash while sleeping and being tortured.

Yes, being in a plane crash when awake is so much better than whilst asleep.
 

Eric

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I've always been a bit paranoid about lightning. I have 0 intention of being outdoors when its cloudy, soon as i see even a bit of black clouds i'm out of there.

Its one of my top 3 fears, along with being in a plane crash while sleeping and being tortured.
You can sleep when being tortured? It's the fingernail extraction that wakes me every time.
 

neoprema

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Yes, being in a plane crash when awake is so much better than whilst asleep.

I just have this fear that if the plane crashed while i'm sleeping i'll never know. Imagine that, never knowing that when you closed your eyes it would be the last time. At least when you're awake you know the end is coming.
 

Geoff.D

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I live in Cape Town. We get a handful of lightning strikes per square km per year, mostly in autumn. Compared to the summer rainfall areas that is close to zero risk.

Edit: Some scientific papers: http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0038-23532012000200013


Really good article in this reference. That very dark dot West of the bottom corner of Swaziland, is in the Vryhied district, coincidently, it is the same area where a quite significant anomaly in the earth's magnetic field manifests itself.

That CSIR setup was done using a SAPO (Telkom) Microwave Survey Mast 200 ft in height, erected by the Radio Riggers based at the Olifantsfontein Radio Transmitter station. The network of sensors was installed by the CSIR at many SAPO Telecommunication stations all over the country and we maintained the analogue communications network and sensor counters for the CSIR. I climbed that mast myself on three occasions. But on microwave survey duties all over the country, I climbed those masts dozens of times. I was trapped at the top of one of those masts at a site north of Pietersburg in a lightning storm. The mast was struck twice in that storm. How the hell I ever survived is still one of the mysteries. The theory was that because only my feet were touching the mast at the time is the reason no potential difference developed across my body. (Supported by a safety belt also earthed to the same part of the mast).
On the Magaliesberg mountains close to the SANDF microwave station (if it still exists), we were all sheltering in a typical round temporary Rondavel equipment room. Steel frame structure with Asbestos boards for sides and roof. Our crew was all in the hut. Two of us were sitting on wooden ladders in the hut. The other guys were all standing around in the hut, and some were sitting on the steel frame rim at the bottom of the hut. The hut was struck. The guys touching the hut were all hospitalised in Rustenburg for a week. Those in the middle of the hut got off without any adverse effects apart from a severe headache and deafness for a few days from the pressure wave presumably.

That was two strikes for me. I reckoned not to push my luck after that and refused to stay anywhere near a survey mast when the weather turned bad. Inside a vehicle was the only safe place to be.
 
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LD50

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I got hit by lightning once but not with a direct hit.
I touched a metal cabinet stnding in a pool of water in a tent where one of the tent poles was also standing in the water. Yes the lightning hit the pole when I touched the cbinet.
Afair the elec went through my body via my right hand and out by my upper right leg. There's a burn mark scar of about 2cm wide.
 

ForceFate

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I just have this fear that if the plane crashed while i'm sleeping i'll never know. Imagine that, never knowing that when you closed your eyes it would be the last time. At least when you're awake you know the end is coming.

Not all the time. Think direct lightning strike...
 

kolaval

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I've been hit twice, not directly though. Once walking on a wet road in the rain and other time standing behind the sink in the kitchen.

All I want to know is who sent that lightning.
So that's why you
 

zophas

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I've been hit twice, not directly though. Once walking on a wet road in the rain and other time standing behind the sink in the kitchen.

All I want to know is who sent that lightning.
It was Zeus. Everyone knows that.
 

wingnut771

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I've always been a bit paranoid about lightning. I have 0 intention of being outdoors when its cloudy, soon as i see even a bit of black clouds i'm out of there.

Its one of my top 3 fears, along with being in a plane crash while sleeping and being tortured.
what about waking up buried in a coffin?
 
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