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Lightning Facts and Tips

  • Published
  • Updated
  • by City Manager

At any moment, there are 2,000 thunderstorms occurring around the world and as many as 100 bolts of lightning every second -- 8,640,000 per day and over three billion per year. Chances of being struck by lightning are over two million to one.

Here in Colorado, lightning is the number-one life threatening weather hazard and ranks 11th in the nation for lightning deaths.

Lightning Safety Tips

  • If you feel your hair stand on end, drop to the ground in a crouched position, hands on knees. Do not lie flat on the ground. Avoid being the highest object in any area.
  • Avoid hilltops, trees or telephone poles.
  • In a forest, move under a growth of small trees.
  • Stay away from water during a thunderstorm, as water conducts electricity.
  • Get off or away from open water and metal equipment (golf cars, tractors, bicycles).  Drop golf clubs and remove golf shoes.  Keep several yards away from other people.  In open areas, go to a low place like a ravine or valley.
  • Stay indoors and away from windows during a storm.
  • Inside a home, avoid using the phone and unplug unnecessary appliances.
  • Watch for flash flooding.
  • Many people apparently "killed" by lightning can be revived if quick action is taken.
  • Learn mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and CPR. First aid given should be given to those not breathing within a few minutes.
  • If you're affected by a lightning strike, see a physician immediately.

Florida ranks first in the nation for lightning, with an average of 100 thunderstorm days per year. The lightning capitol of the world is the West coast of Africa, with as many as 295 thunderstorm days per year.