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NOUS41 KBTV 030900

Public Information Statement
National Weather Service Burlington VT
500 AM EDT Thu May 3 2018

...Severe Weather Awareness Week in New England and New York... 

The National Weather Service, along with all the New England states

and the state of New York, have proclaimed this week as Severe Weather

Awareness Week. Today, we look at lightning.

Although the number of tornadoes and severe thunderstorms may be

low in Vermont and Northern New York, the number of days with

thunderstorms ranges from 20 to 30 days. Remember, an "average"

thunderstorm contains potentially deadly lightning that can strike

the ground.

Lightning strikes the earth many times each second and is a deadly

surge of electrical current. Average statistics show that lightning

kills more people than hurricanes or tornadoes, responsible for

nearly 60 deaths and 500 injuries annually in the united states.

Thunder is the result of a lightning strike and is created when

lightning heats up the air around it, up to 50,000 degrees and

causes the air to expand and contract rapidly. Because light travels

much faster than sound, you hear the thunder after you see the


Here is how you can determine how close the lightning is. Once you

see a flash of lightning, start counting the seconds. When you hear

the thunder, stop counting. Divide the number of seconds you counted

by five to get the distance of the lightning in miles from your


If you plan to be outside, check the latest forecast and keep an

eye on the sky. Move inside when thunderstorms are near. Almost all

lightning deaths occur outdoors. When inside, keep away from

windows, doors and electrical appliances. Stay away from water and

do not use the telephone, except in an emergency.

If you are stranded outside, get inside your car. If this is not

possible, seek shelter in a low area. Do not stand near a tall tree.

If you are boating, get to safe harbor at once. If swimming get out

and away from the water immediately.

Remember, lightning may strike miles from the storm cloud. If you

can hear thunder, then you are at risk of a lightning strike and

precautions should be taken.

More information on severe weather as well as forecasts and other

weather information can be found at www.weather.gov/burlington. Also,

visit our NWS Burlington Facebook and Twitter sites for more



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