This Thursday the National Weather Service released satellite images of a thunderstorm over Southern California.
The publication was made on Twitter in the @NOAASatellites account and it can be seen how the electrical activity advances as well as the clouds.
“Yesterday, GOESWest detected abundant lightning strikes over Southern California,” they said in the post.
“For #LightningSafetyAwarenessWeek (lightning safety awareness week) learn how the geostationary lightning mapping instrument helps us stay safe during thunderstorms,” they said.
During this week, authorities and meteorologists seek to make the population aware of safety in the face of the threat of an electrical storm.
According to the Weather Service, lightning strikes about 25 million times a year in the United States and is estimated to kill as many as 20 people each year and injure hundreds.
Lightning is giant sparks of electricity in Earth’s atmosphere that are hotter than the sun’s surface and are a major hazard during thunderstorms, according to the National Weather Service (NOAA).
It is not a simple spectacle, experts assure that having lightning information can tell us a lot about a storm; such as its location, its intensity or progress.
“The recent storm generated rain accumulations of about an inch in the mountainous sector of Riverside County, hail of the size of 1cm in Orange County and wind gusts of more than 60 MPH in the mountains of Los Angeles”, said the meteorologist of Univision, David Gonzalez.
And about 5,780 lightning strikes were also recorded in Southern California.
Recommendations before electrical storms
According to NOAA, lightning can strike up to 100 miles from a thunderstorm, so it’s important to know where one is happening.
NOAA says there’s little you can do to reduce your risk if you’re outdoors, the only thing that’s really safe is getting inside a house, building, or car.
But if for some reason you can’t get to safety, here are some tips that might help reduce your risk.
- If you hear thunder, you are probably very close to the storm and need to get indoors.
- Avoid open fields, hills, or the top of a mountain.
- Stay away from tall, isolated trees or any tall objects.
- If you are in a forest, stay close to low trees.
- If in a group, it should be separated to prevent current from traveling between group members.
- If you are going to camp, settle in the valley or ravine. The tents do not protect against lightning.
- Stay away from water or wet or metallic items. Water and metal do not attract lightning but are excellent conductors of electricity.
According to NOAA, people wait too long to get to a safe place when there is danger from lightning. “These delayed actions lead to many of the lightning deaths and injuries in the United States,” they wrote on their website.
For his part, meteorologist David González said, “Avoid open spaces, since the scarcity of tall objects that attract the energy compressed in the clouds enables humans to help release the energy.”