On 23rd August night, it was one hell of the Intense Thunderstorms we were tracking and we knew some heavy rainfall happening and Utherimerur recorded 81 mm and Mahabalipuram 110 mm rainfall. The cloud top towered over 15 kms in height and we never something deadly had happened that night (Read the news link). This shows how dangerous these thunderstorms are which is common in Tamil Nadu between April to September during convective rainfall (Veppa Salanm).
What should a Cattle Owner do when there is a Lightning?
1. Dont tie the herd under the tallest tree.
2. Never tie them to the iron poles as they are not safe either as they are good conducter of electricity.
3. Avoid putting your herd in the open fields during a thunderstorm.
What should a common man do when there is a Lightning?
1. Lightning strikes the tallest object mostly a tree (if u take an village or town or forest). The strike travels between inner part of the tree and the bark. But wood is never a good conductor of electricity, so while on the way down if it encounters a person standing next to the trunk and remember we are a better conductor than a tree, so the lightning finds that a combination of the two (tree and human) and connects to the top of the person and travels to the ground possibly killing both the tree and the person. So never hide under a tree to use it as a shade during the Thunderstorm accompained with Lightning.
2. Best place is to be locked inside ur house. However, always remember lightning can enter a building through wires, so stay away from the Landline phone and also unplug ur TV and others as surge can affect the electrical instruments.
3. Lightning can enter a building through plumbing pipes too, so avoiding taking shower or washing dishes during a thunderstorm with Lightning.
4. Do not lie on concrete floors, and do not lean against concrete walls.
5. Never take a boat or do fishing or swimming in a lake when there is Lightning. There Good chance of you being hit by one.
6. Never play in open field in school or in a village or in a Football playground or Criket ground. Remember, you become the tallest object there and might be an ideal candidate of getting hit.
7. Its a myth that people say avoid being inside a car during Lightning. The truth is the metal of a car surrounds you and when a car gets struck electricity stored in the metal of the car tries many ways of finding an escape path. Make yourself sure that you are not touching any metal parts while being inside the Car.
8. Beach is more dangerous as lightning travel out of its way to strike the waterline where land and water meet and it is quite common that it strikes the beach. So don't stand on a beach during a thunderstorm.
9. If you are camping in a Hill or mountain or peaks and if a thunderstorm with Lightning, try to get to the lower ground immediately.
10. If you caught midway in a thunderstorm atleast try to stay away from objects that conduct like electricity poles, Telephone towers, Adboards, Power lines, Flag hoisting poles in schools etc.
11. Last one for bloggers (specially for Mottai Madi Mouli and Legendary Selvan), we cant resist taking the picture of clouds during a thunderstorm. Hopefully, they know the risks involved.
In 2006 Youngsters fishing open lake and playing in open field were stuck by Lightning - http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-tamilnadu/lightning-kills-four-in-kancheepuram-district/article3149142.ece
These are the important things which should be taught in schools. Many die in India due to lightning without knowing its basic features. This year it is the worst with number of deaths running in 100's more deaths than floods, unless educated it is only going to get worse.
Lots of input taken from - Michael
By Tamilnadu Weatherman in Fb.