Thunder and Lightning

19 Feb

This week is severe weather awareness week. Spring is in the air and along with Spring comes our spring storms.

Today I am going to talk about Thunder and Lightning. Let’s start with This warning: When you hear thunder, there is lightning in the area. Thunder is the sound caused by lightning. Depending on the distance and nature of the lightning, thunder can range from a sharp, loud crack to a long, low rumble (brontide). The sudden increase in pressure and temperature from lightning produces rapid expansion of the air surrounding and within a bolt of lightning.

People have been intrigued by lightning for as long as they have watched the skies. Although meteorologists understand the cloud conditions necessary to produce it, lightning cannot be forecasted. At any moment, there are as many as 1,800 thunderstorms in progress somewhere on Earth, and each is producing deadly lightning. Lightning detection systems in the U.S. see an average of 25 million strokes of lightning each year, from some 100 thousand storms. It is estimated that the Earth is struck by 100 lightning bolts every second.

The clouds at the high levels of the thunderstorm are made of ice crystals. The formation of ice in a cloud is an important element in the development of lightning. Those storms that fail to produce large numbers of ice crystals may also fail to produce a lot of lightning. Strong rising and sinking motions within the cloud are important too, as they enhance collisions among cloud particles causing a separation of electrical charges. Positively charged ice crystals rise to the top of the thunderstorm and negatively charged ice particles and hailstones drop to the middle and lower parts of the storm.

As the differences in charges continue to increase, positive charges rise up taller objects such as trees, houses, and telephone poles. The charge can also move up you, causing your hair to stand on end! This is natures way final way of warning you that lightning can strike near you very soon.

If the negatively charged area at the bottom of the storm gets large enough, sends out a channel toward the ground called a step leader. It is invisible to the human eye and moves in steps toward the ground. When the step leader nears the ground, or a target like a radio tower, it repels all the negatively charged in the surrounding area, and attracts all the positive charge. As the positive charges collect in high enough concentration, they send out small bolts of ground to air lightning called streamers. If the streamers can make contact with the step leader, an electric current wave propagates up the channel as a bright pulse — lightning!

And of course, with lightning comes thunder. Lightning heats the surrounding air to as much as 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit, which is five times the temperature of the surface of the sun! When air is heated, it expands, and this expansion is what’s causing the sound of thunder. The expansion is happening faster than the speed of sound, which creates a sonic boom.

Lightning usually claims only one or two victims at a time and usually does not cause the mass destruction left in the wake of tornadoes or hurricanes. Lightning generally receives less attention than any other weather hazard.

During a thunderstorm, each flash of cloud to ground lightning is a potential killer. However, lightning deaths can be prevented if people are aware of the dangers and seek shelter.

Lightning can strike as much as 10 miles away from the rain area in a thunderstorm. That is about the distance that you are able to hear the thunder from the storm. If you can hear the thunder from a storm, you are close enough to be struck by lightning.

Where organized sports activities are taking place, coaches, umpires, referees, or camp counselors must protect the safety of the participants and spectators by stopping the activities so that participants and spectators can get to a safe place before the lightning threat becomes significant.

Lightning Facts
  • An average of 85 lightning fatalities occur each year
  • Approximately 10% of the people struck by lightning are killed
  • 70% of lightning strike victims suffer long-term effects
  • Approximately 400 people survive lightning strikes each year
  • The primary cause of death from lighting is cardiac arrest
  • Unlike high voltage electrical injuries with which massive internal tissue damage may occur, lightning seldom causes substantial burns
  • Most lightning injuries and deaths can be prevented with advance planning and being aware of developing weather situations
  • A NOAA Weather Radio can help keep you informed with the latest thunderstorm information

Lightning Safety

Being outdoors is the most dangerous place to be during a lightning storm. The National Weather Service advises that when you hear thunder or see lightning to quickly move indoors or into a hard topped vehicle and remain there until well after the storm has passed.

Any location is dangerous durning a lightning storm, however, some areas are more dangerous than others. Some of the riskiest locations include:

  • Anywhere near the water:
  • Boating
  • Fishing
  • Swimming
  • Activities on the beach
  • Areas near tall trees (especially isolated trees):
  • Golf course
  • Picnic areas
  • Hiking trails
  • High terrains such as hill tops and ridges
  • High places such as house roofs during construction
  • Open areas like fields
Outdoor Safety Rules

Knowing outdoor safety rules can help save your life or that of loved ones.

When lightning approaches, get inside a completely enclosed building. Car-ports, open garages, storage sheds, metal sheds, and covered patios are not safe shelters.

If no enclosed building is available, get inside a hard-topped, all metal vehicle.

Get out of the water! Get off the beach and out of small boats and canoes. If caught in a boat, crouch down in the center of the boat away from metal hardware. Avoid standing in puddles of water, even if wearing rubber boots.

If you cannot reach shelter, avoid being the tallest object in the area. Do not take shelter under a tree. If you are in the woods, find shelter under the shortest trees.

If only isolated trees are nearby, crouch on the balls of your feet. A rule of thumb to follow is to stay twice as far away from a tree as it is tall. Don’t lie on the ground.

Avoid leaning against vehicles and get off bicycles and motorcycles.

Indoor Safety Rules

When lightning strikes a building, house or other structure, it follows metal conductors such as electrical wiring, plumbing, and telephone lines from the structure to the ground. When this process occurs, it usually leaves the inhabitants unharmed.

Once lightning enters the home it can surge through the electrical, phone, plumbing, and radio/television reception systems. It can also travel through any metal wires or bars in concrete walls or flooring as well as windows and doors. It is important to avoid these conductors during an electrical storm.

Phone use is the leading cause of lightning injuries within the home. Lightning can travel long distances in both phone and electrical wiring, especially in rural areas where other conductors are limited.

Basements should be used with caution during lightning storms (unless there’s a tornado warning!) because they usually contain conductors. Avoid contact with washers and dryers since they not only have contacts with the plumbing and electrical systems, but also have an electrical path to the outside through the dryer vent. Concrete floors should also be avoided as they usually contain some form of reinforcement which can easily become electrified by a nearby lightning strike. Avoid bathing during a lightning storm as the household plumbing can carry a deadly current.

When thunder roars go indoors!

Edwin Christian




12 Feb

As you probably realize my grandfather was my Mentor and my person that I could turn to with any problem. There was nothing grandfather didn’t know anytime I asked him questions he had an exact answer. From the time I started walking and talking he was my person to turn to in time of need.

My hope and the reason I write this blog is to help others learn as I have about life, nature and God. It is my hope that I can act as a sort of Mentor to my readers and offer them a different path to follow. I look for comments and offer responses when I receive them.

As we all have learned life is not a bed of roses and can have it’s ups and downs. I want to share my life experiences as an example for others to see as a way to look at life a bit differently and as a path that they might want to try. I want to show life as nature has taught me and as something to be cherished.

Love of life and others is important to me and I hope to share this with others giving them examples of my life as I grew up so that they to can learn and grow. As Jesus has taught us to love.our neighbors as we love ourselves and as He has loved us, I hope to show how life is so much better with the love and blessings we share with each other.

For those new to my posts, my blog can be found at:

I use my life experiences with the hope of showing others a different path to make life fuller for them. I use my experience in nature with the plants and animals to show life in a different light. I try to show how God has given us so much in nature that we don’t see and how if we open our hearts to His love, our life becomes so much fuller.

I encourage questions and comments as they bring back memories of how grandfather used questions and comments to teach me about life.

Through him I received a very diverse education and am more than happy to share it with anyone who asks.

I have grown in nature, with the animals and look at life as a gift from God. My goal is to make the best of this gift, through Him, to help others make the best of theirs.

Comments and questions are always welcome.

Walk day with God at your side!

Love always,


Quiet Soft Voice…

1 Feb

How many times, as you are about to take a wrong step, have you heard some small voice in your head saying don’t? We all have at one time or another stopped in our tracks because of some feeling that it would be better to go a different direction. That voice or feeling is God gently telling you to think about what you are about to do.

If you’ll be sensitive to the still, small voice, the promptings, the suggestions, the alarms, then God will save you from heartache and pain.

If we would just listen! There lies the problem, we are too tied to our own way of doing things and looking at our cell phones to hear that soft voice guiding our steps. We are human, we know what’s best for us and we don’t ask for help even though we knpw we need it. When it comes to being hard headed, we are at the top of the pack.

Do you ever notice the animals God has blessed us with? I ask this because they always seem to work so well together, helping each other is second nature to them and they just seem to know what to do at just the right time. Isn’t it something that animals and nature automatically help each other out while humans can’t seem to get it?

I used to be that hardheaded, but overtime have learned to ask for help and to trust that little voice in my head to lead down the right path. My heart aches, headaches and disappointments have all but gone away. Oh, every once in a while I still get overwhelmed and forget to listen to that little voice and have ended up with egg on my face.

If you’ll be sensitive to the still, small voice, the promptings, the suggestions, the alarms, then God will save you from heartache and pain.

Maybe if you see again it will serve as a reminder that it is ok to be wrong once in a while, but if we take the time to listen, maybe we will be happier and more settled. God is always communicating with is, we just pay attention and listen. He won’t lead us down the wrong path.

Comments are always welcome.

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,


Who you are….

30 Jan

The other day I touched on this subject when I mentioned the gift God gave us: God’s gift to us is who we are and our gift to God is who we become.

Today I will expand on it a bit. Who we become, is our gift to God as well as our gift to the world. We are at any point in time the sum total of the choices we made in our life. These choices, good and bad, help form who we are today. Character and disposition are formed as well. This should caution one to make the best decisions possible to become the best person we can.

Your input will determine your output, so guard what you put in and you won’t be put out.

Basically this what life is all about, what you put into life is what you will reap in the end. I remember my parents and grandfather drilling this into me as I was growing up and I’m sure your parents pushed the same. But did we listen or just add it to the pile of all the other stuff they tried to warn us about. I know, at the time, I knew better but fate always has a way of pointing out our mistakes. Hindsite is always 20/20 and in my case I was shown many times just how smart my parents were. I’m sure most, if not all, of you can look back and say the same thing.

What’s the matter with us humans? Were human, that is exactly the answer. God gave us freewill to make our own choices, knowing we would do some stupid stuff in life. The best part of is that He is always there to forgive us and help guide us back to where we belong. All we have to do is trust Him.

Trust – wow that is a big word, how do you trust someone you haven’t even seen. That called for Faith. Faith is best defined in Hebrews chapter 11 verse one:

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

So having Faith in God is also trusting that He will do as He promised. It took me several tries to finally get it right and I can say I put all my trust in Him. Yes, I made mistakes in life and my parents and especially my grandfather made sure I made things right. I can honestly say I have been blessed to have such loving parents and to have my grandfather as my mentor.

In closing let me say this: As we go through life, remember it is God’s gift to us and let’s make sure we give Him the best we can be.

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,



29 Jan

I find it interesting when people ask what gift God has given them or wonder what gift God has given you. Actually, when you stop and think about it the answer is pretty simple.

God’s gift to us is who we are and our gift to God is who we become.

God gave us all the gift of life, then as we became Christians opened the door to many other gifts to enhance our life’s. He expects us to use these gifts wisely to show our light to others and to draw them to Him. How we do this is pretty much up to us, since He also gave us freewill, but it is our gift to Him to live our lives to the fullest while sharing His love and blessings with everyone we touch.

With all of us being blessed on a daily basis, I often wonder why there is so much turmoil in the world. If we share our love and blessings as God has asked, imagine how little turmoil that would be. Life is too short as it is, why can’t we all just love each other more and hate less?

One of grandfathers favorite statements was “The Gift Of Life is love so Love everyone you can, in all the ways that you can every day that you can. Then you live up to the gift God has given you” I think that pretty much says it all. Love is never wasted. Thats the greatest gift you can give to God!

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,


Whisper Soft

28 Jan

I remember one day while hiking the Grand Canyon grandfather telling me “The voices of the world are loud and sparse, but the voice of God is a constant whisper.

At nine years old I never gave it much thought as I loved walking in the canyon and the woods listening to nature tell me it’s story. Little did I know that voice was God leading me along my path. His guidance through that soft whisper, constantly encouraging me and gently scolding me when I chose a different direction, but always ready to lead me back to the correct path.

A few years later when grandfather passed his words came back to me as a reminder that I should be in constant conversation with God and always listening for His response as He whispers in my ear. I am, for the most part, in continuous prayer or conversation with God and lean on Him for just about everything.

Saying that brings back another favorite phrase of grandfathers. “Don’t trust to hold God’s hand; let Him hold yours. Let Him do the holding, and you the trusting.” He always reminded me to turn things over to God and to let Him handle it. We often find ourselves turning things over to God, just to take them back to try a different approach. How much easier it is to trust Him to handle things while He is holding our hand.

Prayer is a personal conversation with God and God as my closest friend is always there to offer guidance and comfort. My prayer is for His will to be done and His grace to bless us all. His answer always brings me comfort. As I strive to follow His lead, which I sometimes fail, He continues to bless and encourage me.

I think we are totally blessed in spite of ourselves and need to be thankful for the blessings He gives us everyday for I really think we take them for granted.

I wonder just how good life would be if we all took the time to listen to His whisper soft in our ears. I bet life would be outstanding.

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,


Life is…. Love

27 Jan

I believe that if you don’t derive a deep sense of purpose from what you do, if you don’t come radiantly alive several times a day, if you don’t feel deeply grateful at the tremendous good fortune that has been bestowed on you, then you are wasting your life. And life is too short to waste.

One of my favorite things to do is to go into the woods and enjoy the magic of nature. Everyday nature wakes up and surprises us with something wonderful, something beautiful and something magic, life in its fullest. I often wonder why people can’t do the same.

I’ve written before about how we all seem to live in our own world and by sharing our world with others as they share theirs with us our world’s grow bigger and hopefully better. Life is a growing experience and our sharing, with love, makes the experience so much better.

I’ve watched as some look at others as inferior and tend to hold themselves in a higher plane. I have learned over the years that although we are all somewhat different, we really are all the same. Each one of us is trying to make our path through life and each of us wants to see others succeed. What is missing is the realization that in order to succeed we all need to learn from each other for without each of our worlds, the world fails. We are the world, each and everyone of us and it’s our love that makes it grow.

So how does one get that message out to everyone? We live in a very diverse world and it is this diversity that makes it as great as it. The idea that some are better than others is stupid, to say the least, for what you lack in something they just may be very strong and where they are weak, you just may be strong. We all need each other and for those who think they know it all or don’t need anyone’s help once in a while, you just need to look into a mirror and see just how ignorant you are.

Believe it or not, in spite of all the greed and discontent in the world, love still makes it worthwhile and move forward. I believe when Jesus gave us to command to love our neighbors as our self, He meant every other person in the world. It is a big command because we tend to limit our world’s to just the area we live in. There is more to life than what we see, it’s the hidden things in life that really make the difference. Until we open ourselves up to love and offer our love to others, these hidden things will remain hidden. They present themselves to us as we share our love and world’s with others.

That simple greeting and a smile goes a long way in making someone’s day a bit brighter. It will also make your day better too.

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,