The Passion for Lightning
As a child I was always fascinated by lightning. We were always told to keep away from the windows during a storm but being curious and wanting to see the action I would always try to sneak a peak through the curtains if the show started at night.
An Obsession - High Voltage
I tend to be obsessed by lightning and any other high voltage phenomena. A Tesla coil is one of the devices on my long list things to construct. My friends don't understand this and think I'm odd but lightning is just so spectacular and entertaining like a free fireworks show. I love the lighting effects, the patterns, color, dynamics and of course the sound.
I watch the forecasts in the summer and if there is a front between high and low pressure zones passing over the country then this has the potential to create instability and potential thunderstorms.
When I know the conditions are right I normally turn on the radio, set the band to LW and listen for the crackling of static. If the band is switched to MW and I can hear static then I know the storm is close because MW has less range than LW. There is such tension, pardon the pun, during a build up to a storm. The sky becomes a muddy yellow color, you can feel the heat and humidity and you could cut the air with a knife.
Where I live lightning is infrequent and nothing like the storms in Florida or Tornado Alley. However I remember a freak storm in Ireland in 1985 which was overhead and lasted half an hour. The lightning strokes occurred every few seconds just like in a stereotypical horror film. We heard the next day that there was severe flooding, crops were damaged and crows killed by hailstones. Telephones and lines also suffered damage.
During a thunderstorm there are certain things you should do to protect equipment. Unplug all electronic equipment, telephone lines and broadband or Internet devices such as routers and modems. Surge protection sockets give some protection as glitches on the power lines but are unlikely to save equipment if there is a direct hit.
Don't stay near plumbing or electrical outlets. The safest spot is probably in the centre of a building.
Use your cell phone for communication. People have been killed while speaking on landlines.
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