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Thunderstorm Thunderhead Boulder County Colorado

Thunderstorm Boulder County Colorado

Colorful thunderstorm thunderhead lit up with lightning bolts striking in east Boulder County Colorado.  Not all lightning forms in the negatively charged area low in the thunderstorm cloud. Some lightning originates in the top of the thunderstorm, the area carrying a large positive charge. Lightning from this area is called positive lightning.

Positive lightning is particularly dangerous, because it frequently strikes away from the rain core, either ahead or behind the thunderstorm. It can strike as far as 5 or 10 miles (8 or 16 kilometers) from the storm, in areas that most people do not consider to be a lightning-risk area.

During a thunderstorm, each flash of cloud-to-ground lightning is a potential killer. The determining factor on whether a particular flash could be deadly depends on whether a person is in the path of the lightning discharge.

In addition to the visible flash that travels through the air, the current associated with the lightning discharge travels along the ground. Although some victims are struck directly by the main lightning stroke, many victims are struck as the current moves in and along the ground.

If you can hear thunder, you are within 10 miles (16 kilometers) of a storm—and can be struck by lightning. Seek shelter and avoid situations in which you may be vulnerable.

Use the 30-30 rule, when visibility is good and there is nothing obstructing your view of the thunderstorm. When you see lightning, count the time until you hear thunder. If that time is 30 seconds or less, the thunderstorm is within six miles (ten kilometers) of you and is dangerous. Seek shelter immediately.

The threat of lightning continues for a much longer period than most people realize. Wait at least 30 minutes after the last clap of thunder before leaving shelter. Don”t be fooled by sunshine or blue sky!

Most lightning deaths and injuries in the United States occur during the summer months, when the combination of lightning and outdoor activities reaches a peak. People involved in activities such as boating, swimming, fishing, bicycling, golfing, jogging, walking, hiking, camping, or working outdoors all need to take the appropriate actions in a timely manner when thunderstorms approach.

Colorado fine art nature landscape lightning weather photography poster prints, decorative canvas prints, acrylic prints, metal prints, corporate artwork, greeting cards and stock images by storm chaser James Bo Insogna  aka “The Lightning Man” (C)   –  www.BoInsogna.com

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