Friday, September 07, 2012

30-30 rule for lightning

Living next to a soccer field has many advantages, but sometimes you also see things that are troubling.  Today, as storms approached and lightning and thunder were clearly in close range, the coaches of our boys and girls teams kept practicing with the children.

Referees are taught the 30-30 rule when it comes to lightning, and coaches should obey it, too.  It is as simple as this:  Go inside if you hear thunder within 30 seconds of a lightning flash. Wait at least 30 minutes after you hear thunder before going back outside.

Here are the top ten myths about lightning safety.  The most pertinent one, given today's lapse of judgment, is this:

Myth:  If it's not raining, or if clouds aren't overhead, I'm safe from lightning.
Truth:  Lightning often strikes more than three miles from the thunderstorm, far outside the rain or even thunderstorm cloud.

Here is a great quiz about lightning prepared by the National Weather Service.  It has only ten questions, and you are bound to learn something new. 


Marilyn said...

Thanks for this post, Paul. Good reminder of safety risks and prevention. That was quite a scary looking storm we had yesterday!

My car was destroyed by fire, set off by a live wire struck by lightning in front of my house 3 yrs. ago. I'll never forget the sound and flash of that lightning strike. Luckily, no one was hurt but it was impressive!

Anonymous said...

If you're interested in a more scientific method, please take a look at a lightning meter that will help measure proximity and alert you even when you don't see lightning/hear thunder.