Graduation Storm

June 8th, 2012 at 1:40 pm by under Bill's Blog, News, Weather

    Graduation!  Got the cap…the gown…the tornado…HUH?  WHAT?  There are two very close cloud-ground lightning strikes in the videos.  It’s bad enough being out in the open, but on metal bleachers?  More video here and here.

13 Responses to “Graduation Storm”

  1. Cort S. says:

    Getting struck directly by the bolt is not the only way to get injured by lightning. In fact, it’s one of the least common. http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/770642-overview#aw2aab6b2b2 (Scroll down to the section on “Types of human lightning strikes”)

    1. Bruiseviolet (formerly Rockford- now Cedar Springs) says:

      Sadly it doesn’t take lightning even being close to hurt you. When I was in High School- it was starting to storm one summer night and I was outside of my car in the parking lot of the then D&W (it’s now MVP) and lightnight struck a way away- but it was close enough the lights in the parking lot made a loud noise- and we could feel the heat in the parking lot- the hair on my arms was standing straight up. That was enough to keep me very cautious of lightning.

      2 years ago my daughter played softball and there was a weather delay because there was thunder and lightning. When there is lightning they have to wait 15-20 minutes without another strike before they allow the kids to play. In the meantime- while waiting the 15-20 minutes as it clearly was an approaching storm- that wasn’t going to stop- everyone just stood around in the big open field.

      I took my daughter and went straight for the car- no way was I standing there. I don’t think people realize just how dangerous lightning can be- I think they live under the assumption that it will just hit whatever is highest- so as long as something taller is by them- they don’t think it will effect them.

      1. Cort S. says:

        If you are standing out in a field and lightning strikes nearby, this is what the ground currents can do:

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MNJRPOltifI

        There will be voltage differences in the ground and you could be the path of least resistance… electricity can travel up one leg and down the other. That’s why they tell you not to lie flat on the ground to avoid lightning, but to crouch down with your feet close together.

        1. Bruiseviolet (formerly Rockford- now Cedar Springs) says:

          Wow that video is scary! It illustrates just how fast it can happen.

      2. GunLakeDeb says:

        I can vouch for lightning striking wherever it darn well wants (where the conductivity is best?). I lived in Byron Center; and one morning after a thunderstorm, I walked into my pole barn to find my radio laying in the aisle with a huge melted hole in the middle! A little sleuthing showed that lightning had struck the metal exterior of my pole barn; traveled down 5′; jumped into the radio; then must have followed the cord to the ground. My pole barn was downhill from the house: the house, power poles around it, and nearby trees were all a LOT taller than the barn; but it clearly offered the path of least resistance??

        I also know several people who’ve had horses killed by lightning while out in their pastures – they tend to want to stand under trees during storms….

    2. Bruiseviolet (formerly Rockford- now Cedar Springs) says:

      Also- Cort- did you ever see- gosh the name of the program has been misplaced in my mind- but there was a really neat show I watched a year or two ago- and they were able to catch in super slow motion the “leads” that were down on the ground- before the lightning hit. It was really really amazing to see- but made you quickly realize- it doesn’t matter what is around you- or how it is- the “leads” were ALL over the place and there was literally nowhere safe from not being struck.

      1. Cort S. says:

        I can only think of this popular video from a few years back:

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dukkO7c2eUE
        (This is a copy of a copy of that video…)

        All those stepped leaders in the first 17 seconds of that video are happening before your eyes even see the actual bolt (return stroke).

        With a little bit of digging, I found someone that said it came from “Earth: The Power of the Planet.”
        http://www.bbc.co.uk/sn/tvradio/programmes/earthpoweroftheplanet/page1.shtml#atmosphere

        1. Bruiseviolet (formerly Rockford- now Cedar Springs) says:

          Found it- it was actually from an episode of Raging Planet. Here is an excerpt…

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RLWIBrweSU8

    3. Bruiseviolet (formerly Rockford- now Cedar Springs) says:

      Interesting article Cort, thanks for sharing. I found this the most interesting:

      … This includes facilities with indoor pools, which should be evacuated using the same rules as outdoor pools.

      I always knew about outside and obviously outdoor pools, hardwired phones, showers (plumbing) etc… but it never dawned on me to evacuate an indoor pool. I always assumed those would be ‘safe’ since they are indoors- but thinking about it now- probably good to get out.

      1. whatBillwantstosaybutcant says:

        Thanks for posting that last clip Bruiseviolet. Step leaders in slow motion almost seem to be alive. Having spent a large portion of my life in the electron pumping business, i have the utmost respect for lightning. I was traveling through Mexico with my parents in the early 80′s and witnessed a massive lightning strike just several yards from where we were driving and that was my first “taste” of electricity. (pun intended)

        1. whatBillwantstosaybutcant says:

          Here is a clip with a fraction of the power of a lightning bolt.
          http://youtu.be/hIkNY5xjy5k

  2. INDY says:

    looks like thee weeding with a tornado in the backroom what some will do for acation at a major party lights cam and thoughts are trying to get it all thanks u tube for getting people crazzy on the home video dash for cash on what we see on tv tornadoes at a grad party yeeaaa rightttt.what about lightning zooms and thundeer booms we could use some … Bill saw thee space station fly over theee YARDofBRICKS tonight with a sprite in my hand and finger up yelling at them trying to get it to stop over us and take a picture with a blaze of glory going and loud music to our ears yelling cheeeeeeers ……..INDYYYY…

  3. Tyler says:

    I am on vacation right now down in the Door Peninsula of Wisconsin which is northwest of Green Bay. Been beautiful here, today it reached the Mid 70′s here then we had a few raindrops come down but then got partly cloudy tonight. Yesterday it was in the low 80′s here, got sunburned a little bit swimming in the pool. As the crow flies it is probably only 70 miles to Traverse City across the bay or less.

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