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    • Check out this crazy sky from outside my house last night 🤯.

      Cracks and crashes roared through the sky and illuminated the ground for those split seconds. I think there’s a reason thunder and rain sounds are used in meditative apps – they’re kind of soothing. BUT, I only find them soothing when I’m inside looking out; I’m OK admitting that I find it pretty scary being outside in a storm - it’s a weird contrast. How do you feel during a thunderstorm?

      Photo taken during last night's thunderstorm in West Lothian, Scotland.

    • Lightning storms fascinate me, their magnificent show of energies unleashed creates some truly unique moments, primeval almost. I have been caught many times out riding through some, when it would have been preferable to be somewhere else, indoors. Also the heat lightning or cloud to cloud ones are quite spectacular and can go on for a long time, silently. Picture below is from last weekend after riding through some North Carolina summer storms.

    • After working in weather for a number of years, I find them impressive and a little frightening.

      Outside, a lightning bolt can find you even when you think the storm is still miles away. Indoors, putting your hands (or body) under running water during a thunderstorm puts you at risk, as water is a decent conductor. When homes still had wired phones, some unlucky folks were zapped when lighting followed the wire up to their hand and head.

      All that being said, one thing I'd love to see before I die is a large tornado. An amazing force of nature, the sky reaching down to the ground.

      Being in a vehicle in a flood is suicidal. Being in a vehicle anywhere near tornado-strength winds could kill you. But when lightning's in the area a car or truck is as safe as a Faraday cage.

    • Yeah, silent killer. I did a piece on the Chicago heatwave of 1995. Officially, over 700 people died. Unofficially (because heat deaths are so hard to identify in an autopsy) the death toll was undoubtedly much, much higher. The morgue overflowed, bodies stacked up in refrigerated containers, it was a social disaster.

      It also changed the way Chicago handled heatwaves. It brought home that a heatwave is more than just an inconvenience, that a city needs to be prepared for one.

      "Two decades later, the collective failings that contributed to the death toll are now well-documented: a city caught off guard, social isolation, a power grid that couldn't meet demand and a lack of awareness on the perils of brutal heat."

    • Back in July 2009. I joined about a dozen fellas for a weekend photographing at Toroweap Pt Grand Canyon bcause there are usually thunderstorms then so we thought we might catch a nice cloudy sky, rather than an empty blue one.

      Since most of the group were over 50-60 years of age, I reviewed the treatment for heat stroke to be certain that I would recognize it - I arrived in St George Utah a couple days early to acclimate to the heat, and the ambient temps in the afternoon were about 114 degrees - even at 10 pm, well after sundown it was over 100 degrees. The road crews were pouring asphalt in the afternon heat - Very humbling, I dont know how they managed to do that without having sick employees.

      The first step in treatment of heat stroke is to place the individual in a cool dry air conditioned room and administer IV fluids and cool water to the skin. Since Toroweap is about 100 miles of unpaved road to the nearest asphalt and there was no electricity at the campsites I was a bit concerned about being able to treat heat stroke, and the age of the group suggested there might be some risk.

      I had some concerns, but no one had any difficulty with the heat - we got up before sunrise, shot sunrise, and then sat in a portable gazebo we put up for shade, and just drank cold water all day long trying to keep cool. We told lots of stories. Once sunset approached we finally got mobile again and went out and captured sunset. We all had a great time, but I was glad that no one tried to over do it.

    • Statistically speaking, lighting isn't that dangerous. It's thousands of times safer than driving.

      However, if you're on the top of a mountain in a thunderstorm storm, you are thousands of time more likely to die in that moment than driving for the rest of your life. Sane people stay inside during storms, where it is very safe. I have had the unfortunate experience of being caught in a thunderstorm on the top of Mt. Timinougous in Utah. It was terrifying. I felt helpless. There was nothing I could do to shelter myself except stay in the lightning stance. Bolts struck so close to me that I could feel the heat. The strikes were so loud that my ears were ringing. Someone got struck on the mountain that day but survived. I check the weather before I hike nowadays.

    • I know that photo isn't really in the United States bcause there are no jet contrails in it. Those things were the bane of a trip we took to the area a few years ago.

    • I wish the summer camp I went to in Southern Utah knew about that stance. A group was on Thousand Lakes Mountain during a lightning storm and they sought shelter underneath a tree. One of the boys was sitting on a root. When lightning hit the tree, he was killed. He was a 12-year-old and his mother never got over it, that I know.

    • Last week I got caught in a lightning storm on a bare mountain. Here's my story. I thought of this conversation as I watched lightning strike the ground in front of me. Lauren, lighting is absolutely frightening, especially when I'm the best and tallest conductor on the mountain 😬

      Here's a frame my friend grabbed from a video he took of the lightning we encountered 👇

    • I'm ashamed to say I consider myself an outdoorsman and was a counselor at a summer camp where we lost a camper to lightning, and I never knew about the lightning pose.

    • CPR is extremely effective in resuscitating victims that suffer fatal lightning strikes. CPR is a last resort measure that usually fails in most circumstances, but a lot of research papers speculate that CPR is something like 90% effective for reviving lighting strike victims. And sadly this is an unknown fact. Many people die because others believe the victim is electrically charged or simply that there is no chance to revive a struck person.

      So when your out in a storm, and your friend gets struck dead, please do CPR.