Pat Shingleton: "Lightning-It's Number 2"
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has designated June 22nd through the 28th as Lightning Safety Week. Lightning is the second leading atmospheric killer behind heat exhaustion. Facts note that 82% of those killed are male and 70% of all lightning fatalities occur in June, July and August. Even though the diameter of a single bolt is the size of a quarter, it can increase the air temperature as much as 50,000 degrees, emitting 100 million volts. PVC piping has replaced traditional metal pipes, making homes more vulnerable to lightning hits and explosive fires. Ben Franklin's invention, the lightning rod, provides a safe path into the ground for a deadly bolt. If you can hear thunder, lightning is close enough to strike.