Re: Lightning storm precautions and procedures
Wed, 5 May 1999 09:58:57 EDT

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West Wight Potter Website at URL
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Expanding on my previous response:

<snip >> They are still wondering why the electricity did not take
>short route through steel girders to ground instead of jumping
>a 10' air gap to strike these guys.

If I recall accurately, the article claimed lightning hit light standard
above position of girders but failed to go straight down girders to water...
<maybe it was a feeder from ground up?> Somebody saw it happen from a Marina
across the way... Article carried safety warning: "If caught out in a field
you should lie flat on ground during a lightning storm to present least
exposure to a strike". further comment was "You are safer in an automobile
than a home as the vehicle acts like a Faraday Cage holding electricity away
from occupants."

Here in Florida a lightning strike has killed one person inside his home...
He was on the phone at the time...

I remember this stuff because I have always been concerned about getting hit
by one of this "Power Surges". <G>

In a message dated 5/1/99 1:46:56 AM Eastern Daylight Time,

<< Is it useful to have an AM radio so you can hear lightning
strikes (static crashes) before the lightning appears in your
immediate area? >>


Somewhere, I read that this is very useful as lightning affects radio with
static discharges while still 15 miles away. However, it gives no indication
of which way lightning is headed. Still, That could give you between 30 min.
to one hour to head for cover.

I still follow "real" experts advise and try to stay ashore if lightning is
headed my way or in the forecast. Fortunately, In Florida we don't usually
get rain/thunder/lightning till after 2 PM. So getting up early (6 AM) and
sailing till noon gets me under cover (for what it's worth) before gully
washers and boomers show up...

One time, Out offshore 15 miles in my powerboat, I had a huge loud squall try
to move in on me but I left quick when I saw lightning hit water about half
mile away. The loud boom woke me up! Scared shitless, I headed back at 40
MPH with only prop touching water. Tied up to a marina, hid inside their
office till all the loud crashing and bashing was over. I have a healthy
respect for the powers of nature...

Solar Fry
P19 # 1028, "Elusive Margin"
Pompano Beach, FL
Florida Weather: Temp 68 F
Partly Cloudy, wind NE 10 - 15 MPH with occasional gust to 18, Surf's UP! -
Seas 5 - 8' fetch 25' cresting 300 yds and breaking 25 yds from shore.

PS. Beautiful surfing conditions... Now If I still had my longboard...


In a message dated 5/1/99 12:48:55 PM Eastern Daylight Time, writes:

< I've never sailed in waters where lightning was a worry, so I have no
first hand experience. It seems to me, however, that you would not want
to "invite" a lightning strike into the interior of your boat, but rather to
lead it off to the side, away from passengers and crew.

How? lightning not only comes down, It also goes up from ground...
Therein the impossibility of predicting how it will act...