Lightning is a fascinating phenomenon, captivating the retinas and even overwhelming the exposure on some cameras. And while there's no doubt of its power, there are still a lot of misconceptions about lightning.
"I think one of the biggest misunderstandings about lightning is that you have to be in the middle of the thunderstorm or in the rain to be struck by lightning," says Rick Smith, the Warning Coordination Meteorologist at the NWS in Norman. "In fact most people that are struck by lightning are either its before the storm gets there or its after the storm leaves."
With the arrival of summer more people will be going on vacation and engaging in outdoor activities. If you do encounter a summer thunderstorm, Smith has some advice for you to make sure you don't get struck...
"If you hear thunder or see lightning, you need to get inside because you are close enough to be struck by lightning. The natural tendency is to want to finish one more inning of the game or finish mowing the yard or whatever your doing, but the only safe thing to do at that point is to move inside and wait it out."
Once inside, there are additional safety measures you can take. Make sure to not use corded phones, computers, and other electrical equipment. Also try to avoid plumbing, including sinks, baths, and faucets, as electricity can travel through these items and indirectly jolt you.
Smith adds that lightning can strike over 10 miles away from the rainy part of the thunderstorm, and that the simplest rule of thumb to keep in mind is when thunder roars, go indoors.
For more information on lightning safety, visit http://www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov.