Who doesn’t love a good summer storm? Although summer showers might be a nice respite from these scorching temps, they can also bring some dangerous phenomena. Case and point: lightning strikes. Recently, onlookers in Scottsdale, Arizona, were left flabbergasted when they saw a palm tree engulfed in flames.
In the clip, viewers can see the aftermath of the lightning strike as the palm tree gets burnt up. The clip looks like something out of a sci-fi film as the tree burns bright red against the night sky.
While the lightning strike didn’t cause any serious injuries, we can’t see say the same for a storm last week.
The deadly lightning strike occurred in a park near the White House, leaving four victims in critical condition with life-threatening injuries.
Following the incident, a lightning expert revealed the power of lightning strikes and what to do if you find yourself caught in a storm. “There’s multiple ways that people can be injured or struck by lightning if lightning first hits another object,” Chris Vagasky, meteorologist, said.
Meteorologist gives tips on what to do to keep from being struck by lightning
According to Vagasky, other than a direct strike, victims can be hit by a side flash. In this instance, lightning strikes another object, and the electricity jumps to someone nearby.
However, he adds that bystanders can also be hit by ground current as the electricity travels from the object that was struck into the ground and spreads out to a larger area.
During the lightning strike in D.C., authorities said the victims were huddled under a tree in a local park. As they waited out the storm, lightning struck them.
Per, Vagasky, during a storm, the only safe places are in an enclosed car or a “substantial” building. “A substantial building is something that has pipes and electrical in the wall,” Vagasky added.
“When you’re in one of those two safe places, electricity travels through the metal shell of the car or through the wiring and piping into the ground. And it keeps you enclosed and keeps you safe,” he said.
For people who find themselves outside during a storm, he encourages people to get into a crouching position. He also says to make yourself as low to the ground as possible. In addition, he says you could also run to the closest building.
“As long as you keep moving toward that safe place, and you don’t go near something that’s more likely to be struck by lightning, like a tall tree or something like that, you can usually get significant headway toward being a lot safer.”
While the odds of being struck are one in a million, Vagasky said being outside increases the risk.