Contrary to popular belief, Colorado lightning can strike twice. After all, there is no way to completely evade lightning–it is a natural phenomenon. The Denver area recently experienced two separate lightning-related accidents that transpired in early May 2017.
In the first situation, a woman was watching a Little League baseball game in Highlands Ranch. According to reports from others at the game, she was sitting under a tent, which was allegedly under a tree. This situation put her at greater risk than normal to be struck by lightning. Luckily for this woman, her injuries were non-threatening, though she was taken to a local hospital for further monitoring.
In the second situation of Colorado lightning, another woman was riding her horse on a recreational trail in Douglas County when she and her horse were struck by lightning. The woman was riding with another person, a teenager, who also got struck by lightning. In the teenager’s case, she made it out of the situation with severe injuries but lived to tell the tale. But for the woman and her horse, the lightning strike was fatal. It was reported that the riders saw signs of lightning and were trying to stay ahead of the storm while meeting up with another person.
According to National Weather Service data, lightning killed 38 people last year, the most since 2007, when 45 people died. These deaths certainly don’t account for the majority of fatal accidents (like driving accidents), but every single one of them is largely preventable with the right preparation and education.
What to do When There’s a Storm and You’re Stuck Outdoors
The two aforementioned situations of dangerous Colorado lightning strikes are painful to imagine but offer the opportunity to educate outdoors enthusiasts and sports teams (and their loyal fans) on how to deal with a storm when you’re stuck outdoors.
- Avoid high places, like isolated trees, open fields, picnic shelters, baseball dugouts, communications towers, flagpoles, light poles, and bleachers.
- Go indoors if possible. Even a car can be an ideal shelter from a lightning strike. Just make sure that the windows are closed!
- Assume the lightning position. Crouch as low as you can with as little of yourself touching the ground. When lightning strikes the ground, it causes electric currents on the top of the ground that can be deadly up to 100 feet away. In the case of the woman on the horse in the aforementioned case of Colorado lightning, the lightning strike killed her from 10 feet away.
- When you get inside, avoid using the telephone, running water or touching conductive surfaces like metal door frames.
There’s also something to be said about learning how to detect lightning and other stormy weather patterns.
Detecting Colorado Lightning and Weather Patterns
Thunder is an indicator that lightning is near, but you never really know how near. By using the popular Flash to Bang Method, you’ll only ever get a rough estimate. Because of this, when it comes to safety, you don’t want to compromise and leave it all to chance.
For a more precise way to detect lightning (and other dangerous weather), INO Technologies created The Weather Pro, a handheld weather device that reads a number of weather measurements (temperature, humidity, pressure, heat index, dew point, and altitude) in a small handy touch screen device. It is, in fact, the only handheld weather device that includes lightning detection.
For outdoors enthusiasts or sports teams in a bad weather, it’s the perfect tool for prevention, because there’s no need for cellular or internet signal thanks to its own built-in sensors.
Colorado Lightning Does Strike Twice
Lightning strikes are rare, but potentially deadly if proper precaution isn’t taken. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so consider investing in the INO Weather Pro if you’re the type that finds yourself frequently enjoying the great outdoors–and want to avoid the painful possibilities of Colorado lightning!