65
      Thursday
      82 / 61
      Friday
      84 / 60
      Saturday
      85 / 62

      When thunder roars, go indoors

      Just last week, lightning struck Mark Wooden's home located on the bank of the Michigamme River in Republic, Michigan.

      "I was just sitting out on the porch, enjoying the thunderstorm, when we got hit. It was a pretty scary moment," said Wooden.

      It took out the power to the house and even burned out an electrical outlet, but left no other visible damage.

      "We were blessed, I guess. Doubt it'll happen again, but who knows," Wooden said.

      Wooden's right--nobody knows exactly where or when lightning will strike next.

      "It is so random, and you don't know where that bolt is going to strike," said Matt Zika, Marquette National Weather Service Meteorologist. "We're not going to be able to tell people that lightning's about to strike their backyard before it actually occurs."

      That's why, this week, the National Weather Service is spreading the word on lightning safety. When thunder roars, they say, go indoors, especially since it can happen out of the blue.

      "It doesn't have to be raining at your location, the clouds may not even be overhead yet, but if you're hearing thunder, it's still possible for you to be struck by lightning," Zika said.

      If you can't find a sturdy building, use your car for shelter. Its metal frame offers protection from the lightning.

      And if you're near someone who has been struck, don't be afraid to help them. There's no risk of being electrocuted from touching a lightning victim; any electrical charge is immediately dispensed after the strike.

      To judge how far away you are from lightning, watch for the strike and then count the number of seconds until you hear the boom of thunder. Then take that number and divide it by five and you'll have the number of miles away it struck.

      Visit the National Weather Service's website for additional lightning safety tips and information: http://www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov/