Thunder & Lightning

posted in: Michigan Weather Forecast | 26

We are coming into the time of year when storms producing thunder and lightning become more prevalent.

  • Florida is the lightning capital of the United States.
  • The top five activities that have the most lightning deaths are fishing, camping, boating, soccer, and golfing.
  • 82 percent of lightning victims are male.
  • 70 percent of lightning strikes are during the months of June, July and August.
  • In the United States, researchers estimate about 22 million lightning flashes strike the ground each year.
  • Lightning can also strike in the winter, during a rare thunder snowstorm.
  • You can survive a lightning strike, but there can be serious complications.
  • American Park Ranger Roy Sullivan has been struck by lightning seven times between 1942 and 1977. He survived them all and earned the nickname the Human Lightning Rod, and also earned a place in the Guinness Book of World Records. (see more below)
  • When lightning strikes the sand, the intense heat can melt the sand into a glass-like state called fulgurites.
  • Many cloud-to-ground lightning strikes are forked, which means they have many strike points on the ground.  And once lightning hits the ground, it can spread out over 60 feet from the strike point.
  • Fear of lightning is called keraunophobia.
  • Fear of thunder is called brontophobia.

Roy Sullivan

  1. The first documented lightning strike of Sullivan occurred in April 1942. He was hiding from a thunderstorm in a fire lookout tower. The tower was newly built and had no lightning rod at the time; it was hit seven or eight times. Inside the tower, “fire was jumping all over the place”. Sullivan ran out and just a few feet away received what he considered to be his worst lightning strike. It burned a half-inch strip all along his right leg, hit his toe, and left a hole in his shoe.
  2. He was hit again in July 1969. Unusually, he was hit while in his truck, driving on a mountain road—the metal body of a vehicle normally protects people in cases such as this by acting as a Faraday cage. The lightning first hit nearby trees and was deflected into the open window of the truck. The strike knocked Sullivan unconscious and burned off his eyebrows and eyelashes, and set his hair on fire. The uncontrolled truck kept moving until it stopped near a cliff edge.
  3. In July 1970, Sullivan was struck while in his front yard. The lightning hit a nearby power transformer and from there jumped to his left shoulder, searing it.
  4. In spring 1972, Sullivan was working inside a ranger station in Shenandoah National Park when another strike occurred. It set his hair on fire; he tried to smother the flames with his jacket. He then rushed to the restroom, but couldn’t fit under the water tap and so used a wet towel instead. Although he never was a fearful man, after the fourth strike he began to believe that some force was trying to destroy him and he acquired a fear of death. For months, whenever he was caught in a storm while driving his truck, he would pull over and lie down on the front seat until the storm passed. He also began to believe that he would somehow attract lightning even if he stood in a crowd of people and carried a can of water with him in case his hair was set on fire.
  5. On August 7, 1973, while he was out on patrol in the park, Sullivan saw a storm cloud forming and drove away quickly. But the cloud, he said later, seemed to be following him. When he finally thought he had outrun it, he decided it was safe to leave his truck. Soon after, he was struck by a lightning bolt. Sullivan stated that he actually saw the bolt that hit him. The lightning moved down his left arm and left leg and knocked off his shoe. It then crossed over to his right leg just below the knee. Still conscious, Sullivan crawled to his truck and poured the can of water, which he always kept there, over his head, which was on fire.
  6. The next strike, on June 5, 1976, injured his ankle. It was reported that he saw a cloud, thought that it was following him, tried to run away, but was struck anyway. His hair also caught fire.
  7. On Saturday morning, June 25, 1977, Sullivan was struck while fishing in a freshwater pool. The lightning hit the top of his head, set his hair on fire, traveled down, and burnt his chest and stomach. Sullivan turned to his car when something unexpected occurred — a bear approached the pond and tried to steal trout from his fishing line. Sullivan had the strength and courage to strike the bear with a tree branch. He claimed that this was the twenty-second time he hit a bear with a stick in his lifetime.

All seven strikes were documented by the superintendent of Shenandoah National Park, R. Taylor Hoskins. Hoskins, however, was never present at any of the reported strikes and was not an active and present superintendent in Shenandoah National Park for many of the times Sullivan was supposedly struck. Sullivan himself recalled that the first time he was struck by lightning was not in 1942 but much earlier. When he was a child, he was helping his father to cut wheat in a field, when a thunderbolt struck the blade of his scythe without injuring him. But because he could not prove the fact later, he never claimed it.  All in all, I would say Mr. Sullivan was a very unlucky man.

Sullivan’s wife was also struck once when a storm suddenly arrived as she was out hanging clothes in their back yard. Her husband was helping her at the time but escaped unharmed.


Update:

Here is the transcript of the Gov Whitmers EXECUTIVE ORDER No. 2020-21 :

EO 2020-21 Stay Home, Stay Safe

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Rocky (Rockford)
Rocky (Rockford)

Boy that snow looked great this morning! Beautiful!

Andy W
Andy W

Yep, hope you enjoyed it! Next snow you’ll see will be in around 8 months!

Rocky (Rockford)
Rocky (Rockford)

GR seasonal snowfall is now over 50 inches! We have time for a couple more snow events! Bring it!

Andy W
Andy W

Wow, it finally made it to half of what you guessed!

Andy W
Andy W

With these temps it’s gonna be hard to get the 4 feet of snow you need to get to your prediction!

https://weather.com/weather/tenday/l/7f39432f98eef2d300f773cf914253d5f248e7131cb69cb63b087ebda662f574

Rocky (Rockford)
Rocky (Rockford)

Glad I got in some more skiing this weekend before the lock down!

INDY
INDY

What was not going to happen this month snow we got 3.2 inches overnight from thee YARDOFBRICKS …We are getting there ..INDY

Rocky (Rockford)
Rocky (Rockford)

Nice!

Rocky (Rockford)
Rocky (Rockford)

It was great seeing the fresh snow this am! Skiing this weekend and then fresh snow today! I love these long WINTERS! Incredible!

Andy W
Andy W

Snow is gone, LOL! I love long springs!

Mark (East Lansing)
Mark (East Lansing)

Ours was gone a couple of hours ago. My mom lives north of me and she said they received nearly 3″ – much more than us.

Andy W
Andy W

Yeah, we had maybe an inch in Northern Kent, but it was gone by around 1 pm.

Mr. Negative
Mr. Negative

A lockdown is much easier to work through when not living in the snow covered, Southern Arctic…

*SS*
*SS*

Mezzo is shutting their doors for time being at 2pm today.

Mark (East Lansing)
Mark (East Lansing)

Crazy times we’re living in. Stay safe and healthy my friends.

Mookie
Mookie

Michigan lock down is expected to be announced at 11am. While details are not known, if it’s anything like other states, that means no driving except for medical, groceries, etc. No Amazon deliveries.

Stay safe, everyone!

Nathan (Forest Hills)
Nathan (Forest Hills)

I am hoping that we are still allowed to go for walks or bike rides. (Once the snow melts of course)

Mookie
Mookie

Should be no problem with that if you don’t have to drive somewhere to do it.

Mark (East Lansing)
Mark (East Lansing)

The boy’s name is Henry Scott. Seven pounds, 8 ounces, and 20 inches long. Mom and little Henry are doing great.

It is pretty this morning. Just over an inch. Just enough to cover the grass.

Stay healthy, my friends –
Mark (East Lansing)

*SS*
*SS*

Congrats Mark!!! Some of our family members had a baby this weekend too.

Mark (East Lansing)
Mark (East Lansing)

Congrats to your family too!

*SS*
*SS*

Thanks.

INDY
INDY

As it gets a little lighter outside not sure if that’s snow falling but the ground looks coverd no way how could that be who knew …lol…The Beauty of Winter it is….We are getting there have another nice cool Monday ..INDY