Everyone has been in a storm and knows how dangerous lightning can be. But how safe are you in a thunderstorm? Here is a handy chart provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that shows you just how far that potentially spine-zapping lighting is from your position.
To estimate the distance between you and a lightning flash, use the “Flash to Bang” method: If you observe lightning, count the number of seconds until you hear thunder. Divide the number of seconds by five to get the distance in miles.
Example: If you see lightning and it takes 10 seconds before you hear the thunder, then the lightning is 2 miles away from you (10 divided by 5 = 2 miles).
|If Thunder is heard||The Lightning is…|
|5 seconds after a Flash||1 mile away|
|10 seconds after a Flash||2 miles away|
|15 seconds after a Flash||3 miles away|
|20 seconds after a Flash||4 miles away|
|25 seconds after a Flash||5 miles away|
|30 seconds after a Flash||6 miles away|
|35 seconds after a Flash||7 miles away|
|40 seconds after a Flash||8 miles away|
Get to a safe location if the time between the lightning flash and the rumble of thunder is 30 seconds or less.
[Via the NOAA]