Pat Shingleton: "Lightining Shockers and the Weather-Schtick"
We’ve presented numerous columns on human lightning rods and on this date in 1946 in Kenton, Ohio, it happened again. Charles Brown was bonked by a lightning bolt for the tenth time while visiting the public library. The Almanac of the Infamous, Incredible and Ignored reportsed that Roy Cleveland Sullivan, a forest ranger from Waynesboro, Virginia, was zapped seven times within a 36-year-period. This included episodes while on duty in a fire lookout tower when he was popped in his toenail while other times included scorched eyebrows, shoulder burns and hair fire. Carl “Sparky” Mize has been hit four times when the first occasion occurred while riding a bull in the rodeo circuit. He was also “bolted” when lightning ricocheted into the handle of his pick-up truck. Trees attract lightning hits. A “weatherstick” is made from a branch that was once attached to a portion of a tree trunk. Traditionally the balsam fir tree was used with the bark stripped from the stick allowing it to bend. If the stick bent skyward, fair, dry weather was expected and should it bend toward the ground, foul, wet weather could be expected. The stick was usually fifteen inches long and pencil thin and surprisingly displayed some assembalance of accuracy. The reason the stick bent was due to relative humidity. Coniferous and other softwood trees such as pine or spruce were composed of two different kinds of wood. Similar to the Rittenhouse Hygrometer, the top contains plain wood while the bottom is compressed wood. The stick moves because the wood on the bottom contracts lengthwise more than the top and it bends down. The opposite occurs when relative humidity rises towards its original position.
Desktop NewsClick to open Continuous News in a sidebar that updates in real-time.
East Feliciana Parish leaders won't remove Confederate statue
Woman annoyed at drivers on flooded street arrested after threatening tirade with...
Uptick in COVID cases prompts more to get tested, puts strain on...
Three BRPD officers quarantined, Third District closed over the weekend for deep...
5 inches of rain inundates Ascension: Pump stations activated and sandbags made...