Updated: Monday, 20 Apr 2009, 9:43 AM EDT
Published : Wednesday, 28 Mar 2001, 4:23 PM EST
Hotter than our sun and carrying enough energy to light a 100 watt lightbulb for three months ... lightning is a beautiful and deadly weather phenomena.
Michigan ranks second in the nation, behind Florida, in lightning-related deaths. Most happen in open spaces like lakes or golf courses.
No one likes to cancel their golf game on account of weather. But here's a sobering fact you should remember. If you hear the rumble from a thunderstorm, or see the flash of the lightning, you're in danger. You can be struck by lightning many miles from the storm.
The time from the flash to the thunder is a rough estimate of how distant the lightning is. If you see a flash and count the seconds, five seconds corresponds to about a mile.
What is currently being advocated is the 30-30 rule. Take shelter if the time from seeing a flash to the time you hear thunder is 30 seconds or less. Don't resume activities until 30 minutes have elapsed from the last lightning and thunder.
What to do when lightning threatens
Other tips to avoid being struck by lightning
For even more about lightning, try these interesting links