Mariton: What Are The Chances?

September 27, 2012

by Tim Burris; Preserve Manger

This tree was hit by lightening around Labor Day.  Lightening is a natural power that is very dangerous, and very hard to predict.  For instance, this tree is not the tallest in its locale.  In fact, the top of this tree was blown out in a wind storm several years ago, so it is significantly shorter than the surrounding trees.  The energy from the strike actually split the tree’s outer layer, blowing bits of wood and bark several feet.

I spend a fair amount of time outdoors.  Tenting in a lightning storm definitely puts one on edge.  So, I am always interested in how to reduce the likelihood of a strike.  I have asked friends that are industrial electricians (as well as outdoorsmen) for advice.  Their response is the same as meteorologists:  get into a car or a house.    It is just too difficult to generalize or predict what and where lightning will strike.