Friday, August 15, 2008

Crash! Boom! Hey, who turned out the lights?

And the wild weather continues....

EDIT: and another article from Saturday -

I love thunderstorms, especially forked lighting. I tend to throw open the curtains and find a comfy place to sit, so I can watch the light show. I wish I could say the same for my cat, he was terrified, and spent the night hiding under the duvet. Someone recently posted a link to some really amazing slow motion film of a lightning bolt: Spectacular!

But thunderstorms can be pretty dangerous. The weather systems that produce them are very turbulent, and can produce strong winds, bursts of extremely heavy rain, and hail, just like last night and this morning. Thunderstorms can also produce tornadoes. Lightning strikes can cause all sorts of problems, especially when they hit things like power substations or power lines.

If you're outside when a thunderstorm rolls in, go inside! You can stay in your car if that's your only option, just don't touch any of the metal bits. If you can't find shelter, stay away from tall, isolated objects such as trees, poles, or posts. Make sure that you are not the tallest object by crouching down. Crouch down, bend forward, and grab your ankles. Keep your head down. Don't lie flat on the ground and try to keep out of puddles or other standing water.

Don't use a phone or a computer during a thunderstorm - it's best to turn them off and unplug them, even if you have surge protection. Don't take a shower or wash dishes. Lightning can strike the plumbing or electrical wires that connect to your house and give you an electrical shock if you use these items.

After the storm passes, wait about half an hour before leaving the house. Lightning can still be prevalent in the sky, and more storms may come.

If there are downed power lines anywhere around you, DO NOT touch them. Stay well away and call your electrical company and have them take care of it.

A power line came down in Dimock St, Titahi Bay, and chunks of Porirua lost power, and radio reception too when one of the transmitters was hit.

You all know where your torch and spare batteries are, right?

Stay safe out there.

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