My love of meteorology is pretty well documented, but I’ve got to say, out of all inclement weather, I love thunderstorms the most. Love them. The pounding rain, thunder so loud it shakes your bones, and lightning that reaches down from the heavens to the tree outside your window, I love all of it. However much I love storms, they’re dangerous and unpredictable.
When lightning strikes, the air around it heats to about 36,000 degrees Fahrenheit or about three times the surface temperature of the sun. So, if you see lightning, it’s probably best if you head indoors. A good rule of thumb is that when you see lightning strike, count until you hear thunder. If you don’t make it past 30 seconds, you’re still in the danger zone. While most people survive being struck by lightning, almost 100 people die annually, so please be careful if you go outside during a storm.
With lightning, most thunderstorms produce extreme winds, capable of turning those cute pool toys into projectiles in an instance. If you have time before a storm hits, try and gather everything that has a chance of taking flight and becoming a hazard. On that same note, try not to drive during these storms. At high speeds, the wind can flip your car (not to mention the semi driving next to you) and knock down trees and power lines.
For most people, the biggest threat associated with thunderstorms is a power outage. Because spring storms can seemingly come out of nowhere, always have extra batteries, flashlights, candles, blankets, water, a portable radio, and some food stashed in your house. If you have small kids, include some fun games to help pass the time as well as take their minds off the thunder. Also, unplug your appliances to protect them from any power surges.
The best way you can prepare for a storm is watch the clouds and stay tuned to your local news for updates on the weather.