Archive | February, 2018

Thunder and Lightning

19 Feb

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. 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 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. This is a mistake as lightning is very deadly.

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

WRN AMBASSADOR

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Mentor

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: efchristi.com

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,

Ed

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 need.to 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,

Ed