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jimmy m
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09 Aug 2018, 8:13 am

SabbraCadabra wrote:
Really nice lightning display right now =)
...I probably shouldn't be on the computer... ¬_¬


That is very sound advice. I also turn of my television and avoid taking a bath during a lightning storm.

I have a 40 foot television antenna next to my house. It is a relic now because television signals went digital several years ago. When I put the antenna up, I ran a large 000 (3/0) gauge wire from the top of the antenna to the ground and buried it deep within the ground. Sometimes as a storm approached I would go outside and watch electricity bleed from the ground and into the air at the top of the antenna. The house is now 40 years old and never been hit by lightning.

The best way to prevent lightning striking your home is to have lightning rods installed on the roof of your home. It bleeds off electricity and will generally keep the home safe. Maybe not perfectly safe but close. Lightning can still hit the power lines and find their way into your home or landline telephones. (So if you have a landline, you may not want to be talking on the phone during a lightning storm.)

Also if your home gets struck, you will have a decision to make. Of whether to call the fire department immediately or wait. Sometimes a lightning strike will generate a small smoldering fire in the house wiring. Since the wiring is behind walls, this smoldering fire may take several hours to become visible and spread. If you call the fire department, they will look at the wiring to make sure. To do that they will bust holes in many of the walls of your home, essentially gutting your home. So you may want to investigate the affected areas of the house first and delay your call. If you see flames and smoke by all means call the fire department; but if you wait, say alert for several hours knowing that there still may be a smoldering fire buried in the wiring. (This recently happened to my daughter. Their home was struck by lightning. They monitored the affected areas and stayed awake and alert for several hours. Nothing happened so in the end they did not call the fire department. And now they are having lightning rods installed on their home.)

SabbraCadabra wrote:
I once woke up and went out to the RV to grab something, one morning after a storm, and I guess the vehicle must've picked up a charge, because I got a really good zap when I grabbed the door handle. Hopefully that's the closest I ever come to getting struck.


Static electricity. One of the things I found interesting is events that occurred during the dust bowl era. The flying sand and dust would build up an electrical charge on the barb wiring fencing used to fence in the cattle. Every now and then a rancher would touch the wiring and become electrocuted and die. It was a real danger during those very dry years. Long strands of barb wiring can build up a massive electrical charge.


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Spiderpig
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09 Aug 2018, 11:06 am

I saw a nice one last night, too. It was one of the few times I notice the lightning when it's still a comfortable distance from me. I probably shouldn't have been on my computer, with a fully charged, highly flammable, extremely-high-energy-density battery plugged in, and another in the drawer. Oh, how do I know it was fully charged? Because the computer had its power supply on, plugged into the mains, conveniently enabling it to receive a lightning strike from the power lines, and had stayed that way for more than a full day.

It probably wasn't great, either, to have a half-full---in this context, that's definitely not the optimistic way to say it, is it?---eight litre bottle of drinking water next to my bed. Anything with water is a lightning strike away from becoming a dreadful bomb when all its content boils in the blink of an eye. If you don't believe me, search the web for some fine pictures of trees which burst violently when lightning boiled in an instant their not-that-big volume of sap. Yeah, my bed; that's where I was sitting; there's no room for a chair. And it has a nice, conducting, metal frame. Can't complain---at least it can hold my weight! Oh, and the thingy where I "iron" my clothes is right there, too. The steam-spouting part I sweep my clothes with isn't made of iron, but the clothes are hung on top of a pretty long vertical steel rod.

Sounds like a beautiful time to go to the living room and watch the huge, old-fashioned, CRT TV lying just in front of a similarly broad window, huh? Especially considering I was alone and noöne would find my charred and rotten body for three days.

I think the storm didn't make it to my location. Nevertheless, after sleeping for an hour, I suddenly woke up with the feeling that something ominous permeated the air. I raced out of my room, only to go back and again into my bed when I realized nothing else I could do made much sense.


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MagicKnight
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09 Aug 2018, 11:13 am

No, I'm not scared. I find all things related to rain and storm, very interesting. I love thunder, lightning and so on.



SabbraCadabra
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09 Aug 2018, 3:43 pm

jimmy m wrote:
I have a 40 foot television antenna next to my house. It is a relic now because television signals went digital several years ago.

Actually, that's a common misconception. An antenna is still an antenna, as long as you have a TV or a converter box that properly supports those digital signals.

You can get a lot of great channels over the air. IMO, a lot of them are better than most cable channels.


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jimmy m
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15 Aug 2018, 11:24 am

A teenage in Arizona was struck by lightning last week and survived. He said he now feels like Superman.
Arizona teen survives lightning strike, says he feels 'like Superman' after brush with death


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