How to stay safe in a lightning storm

How to plan ahead for the unpredictable weather that prevails during this time of year.

Lightning storms are normal for monsoon season but for active communities like Flagstaff, that means an increased risk of getting caught in one.

Monsoon season is from June to September and brings an added risk to those who enjoy the outdoors. 

"It's really unpredictable," said Tony Merriman, a warning coordination meteorologist for the National Weather Service.

For more monsoon coverage: 12news.com/monsoon

Flash floods, hail and lightning storms are some of the things you might run into if you are caught outside in a storm. 

We have a few tips to keep you safe this monsoon season:

First, plan outdoor activities for the morning -- storms don't normally form until after noon. 

But if you do end up caught in the middle of a storm, you should try to find shelter or get as low as you can to the ground. 

"The best thing to do is find a shelter, but if you can't, then you want to get away from the tallest structure," said Merriman. "You do not want to take shelter under a tree because lightning tends to strike trees."

If there is a flash flood, find higher ground and stay out of creeks and washes.

Never drive through flooded roadways. It only takes 10 inches of water to sweep you and your car away.

Lastly, Merriman gave an easy reminder to use more than just your sight.

"When you hear thunder, you’re close enough to be struck by lightning," he said. "So when thunder roars, go indoors.”  

© 2017 KPNX-TV


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