We Wisconsinites were supposed to be blessed with a spring snow last weekend. What’s up with that? It’s April. Where are the showers promised in Thomas Tusser’s rhyme, “April showers bring May flowers”?
After five months, I’m weary of snow. If we can’t have sun, I prefer rain, most often in the form of those promised showers. I like thunderstorms, too. And lightning fascinates me.
Mind you, I realize lightning is dangerous. About 100 Americans die every year when struck by lightning. Lightning has been known to kill more people in a year than hurricanes or tornadoes. And those who live after being struck by lightning often suffer long-term consequences, such as memory loss.
So, what I’m recommending is studying lightning from inside a safe harbor -- in your home. Or learning about lightning from libraries or Internet surfing.
To help you start, I’ve devised a True and False quiz. Make your guesses in the Comments and next Thursday, just a short week away, I’ll share the answers.
Header from samulli
1. In the United States, Florida and the Rocky Mountain region get the most lightning. T or F?
Rubber-soled shoes or rubber car tires will provide protection against getting hit by lightning. T or F?
2. When you’re outside in a lightning storm, lie flat on the ground. You’re safest close to the earth. T or F?
3. If you find yourself in a lightning storm, run to the nearest tall tree and hide under its branches. T or F?
4. The temperature of a lightning flash is hotter than the surface of the sun. T or F
5. Each flash of lightning may actually be 3 or 4 different strikes of lightning targeting the same place in rapid succession. T or F?
6. Lightning causes thunder. When a lightning bolt travels from the cloud to the ground, it actually opens up a little hole in the air, called a channel. Once the light is gone, the air collapses back into the hole and creates a sound wave we hear as thunder. T or F?
7. You can find out how far away a storm is from you by counting the seconds between a lightning flash and the clap of thunder. Every time you get to 5, the storm is a mile away. So at 10, it’s 2 miles away.
8. If you don’t hear thunder, you’re safe in a rainstorm. T or F?
9. Lightning seldom hits the same place twice. T or F?
10. Got the last one right? Then this should be no challenge. Lightning strikes the Empire State building an average of 100 times every year. T or F?
11. Being in a car is safe during a storm because cars have rubber tires and will cause the electricity to travel into the ground. T or F?
12. You have a 1 in 600,000 chance of being struck by lightning. T or F?
I’m guessing you like watching storms, too. And watching lightning. Do you know a lot about our stunning electrical shows in the skies? Test yourself. Take the quiz. Record your answers in the Comments. I’ll check in during the day and let you know how you score. Go ahead; you’ll enjoy it.
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