It's lightning safety awareness week. Lightning strikes are the second leading cause of weather-related deaths in the United States. Yet, lightning is one of the most misunderstood weather occurrences. So now is a good time to go over some of the dos and don'ts of lightning safety.One thing to remember is that no place outside is safe when thunderstorms are in the area. That's why folks at N.M.U. golf course are extra vigilant during these summer months.
â??We have the radar on the computer. We monitor that on a regular basis to see if there are any storms coming in. And then we also have the air horn that we blow outside the clubhouse,â?? said N.M.U. staff member, Laura Podolski.
But what if you're too far from the clubhouse? Will the rubber tires on your golf cart keep you safe? It's a common misconception that it's the rubber on the tires that protects you and the cart from a lightning strike. It's actually the metal framework around the cart that protects you from a lightning strike.
So, your golf cart won't provide much protection. But what if there's no safe shelter anywhere nearby? It's tempting to try to seek shelter from a thunderstorm under a large tree. But that's not good.
National Weather Service meteorologist, Matt Zika, offered some alternatives. â??That's the last things we want people to do is seek shelter underneath a tree or the tallest object around them. If they can find a low spot in the ground or someplace where they're not wide out in the open, but yet not also seeking shelter underneath the tallest trees, that's probably their best avenue in those instances.â??
Also, stay away from objects that conduct electricity, like barbed wire fences and power lines. These objects don't attract lightning, but they do conduct electricity and can deliver an indirect strike.
And even if it's not raining, that doesn't mean you are safe either. Lightning can strike more than ten miles away from a thunderstorm. If you can hear thunder, you're within striking distance. So it's recommended that you stay in a safe shelter until at least thirty minutes after you hear the last sound of thunder.So whether youâ??re on the beach or the back nine, remember: â??When thunder roars, go indoors!â??