When I was little I used to watch thunderstorms from the safety of out house. We would all stare out of the window watching the storm explode around us, counting the seconds in between the lightning and the thunder to tell how far away the storm was.
The power of a significant storm is still awe inspiring today, and a reminder that mother nature is very powerful indeed. Lightning is an electric current that is produced during a thunderstorm,and that we see as a bright flash of light. All thunderstorms produce lightning.
An electrical charge is built up when frozen raindrops within the clouds bump into each other. The cloud fills up with electrical charges where positively charged protons form at the top and negative electrons form at the bottom of a cloud. This results in a positive charge being built up on the ground below the cloud.
The charge from the ground will be most active around taller objects such as trees, mountains and people. This will eventually connect with the charge coming down from the cloud and lightning is formed.
Thunder is a result of lightning. Channels of air are created when a lightning bolt travels from the cloud to the ground which then collapse on themselves and creates a sound wave that we hear as thunder. As light travels faster than sound we see lightning before we hear thunder.
The safest place to be outside during a storm is a car or sturdy building. If you are caught in a storm then crouch down in an open area with your feet together and hands over your ears. Avoid trees, water and dug outs. Do not carry out any activity in water such as a swimming or wadding as electricity is conducted easily through it. Avoid anything metal for the same reason, so remove your back pack if it has a metal frame.
If you are indoor then keep away from doors and windows. Avoid water so do not take showers or wash your hands and do not use electric equipment like computers and other appliances. Exterior phone lines may be struck so do not used land line.
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