How to stay safe from lightning, the most frequent severe weather threat in Michigan

Posted at 8:40 AM, Mar 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-24 08:40:03-04

As Severe Weather Awareness Week continues, 7 First Alert Meteorologist Kevin Jeanes broke down lightning, which is the most frequent severe weather threat in Michigan.

A bolt of lightning is hotter than the sun, and can be as hot as 50,000-degrees.

Lightning can also strike over five miles away, which is why people say: If the thunder roars, go indoors. If you hear thunder, you're likely close enough to be struck by lightning.

There's also a rule – the 5 seconds to 1-mile rule. If you see the flash of lightning, count to five, then hear thunder, that means it's about a mile away.

If you don't have anywhere to go, avoid trees, avoid metal, that's what lightning is attracted to. If you don't have anywhere to go, crouching down in a ditch is best.

Also, if you go to your car, you will be protected because of lighting, but it's not the reason most people think. Tires don't protect you from lightning. The truth is, it's the frame of your car that the lightning can travel to and then arc to the surface. So, make sure you're not in a convertible.