New Technology Is Addressing Safety During The Storm

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Lightning is brilliant, awe-inspiring and deadly.  However, some people have survived a lightning strike.
“I just remember, like, a blue flash” said Terry Brisbin.  He has no ill effects from the strike that happened in the late 1970’s.

“I just brushed off the mud and grass and walked to my car,” recounts Brisbin.  He’s among the fortunate ones.

The number of people killed by lightning in Texas peaked in 2007 with 6 deaths.

So many of us spend a lot of time outdoors especially for recreation.  Several groups are taking extra steps to ensure the safety of families when a storm approaches.

“Absolutely the safety of the kids is our number one priority,” said Todd Nelson.  He’s the president of the Keller Youth Association.  At their ball fields, a lightning detection system is in place.  If lightning strikes within 10 miles of the park strobe lights go off and sirens blare.  Everyone must take shelter until the threat passes.

If you are outdoors and see lightning, or hear thunder, seek shelter immediately.  If a building isn’t close, avoid getting under a single tree and tall objects like towers, telephone poles and power lines.

If you are indoors, be aware that the electrical current from lightning can travel through corded objects.  You will want to avoid talking on the telephone or working on the computer during a storm.

At the National Weather Service, new technology will help meteorologists track lightning.  The system uses satellite to map all lightning flashes.

Greg Patrick with the National Weather Service believes the technology, “could be the next major advance in understanding and predicting lightning and how that relates to storm severity”.

Just how dangerous is a single bolt of lightning?  Scientists estimate lightning can travel at an average speed of up to 200,000 miles per hour.  The average temperature of a lightning bolt is an incredible 53,500 degrees.