Thursday, October 23, 2014
Loading...





Lightning safety tips for mountain visitors

Plan ahead, start early, stay alert: Lightning safety tips for mountain visitors
Posted on July 15, 2014 at 12:00 a.m. | Updated on July 15, 2014 at 2:29 a.m.

DENVER (AP) — Lightning strikes have killed two tourists and injured others in recent days in Rocky Mountain National Park. The strikes happened along a popular road that is above treeline and is prone to rapidly-developing early afternoon summer thunderstorms. Here are some precautions mountain visitors should take to stay safe:

CHECK THE WEATHER: According to the park, a bright summer day can turn stormy within minutes, with lightning, high winds and even snow. In the Rocky Mountains, thunderstorms typically develop in the early afternoon. Elsewhere, ask rangers or check the weather service to learn about the weather patterns of the area you are visiting.

GET OUT EARLY: If hiking, start your hike early in the day — and plan to be down the mountain by noon. Summer thunderstorms can form quickly anytime in the afternoon. Get below treeline or to safe shelter before a storm strikes.

STAY ALERT: If you hear thunder, lightning is close enough to strike you. If you see lightning in the distance, it’s close enough to strike you. And at altitude, if skies look threatening, a thunderstorm can develop immediately overhead. A significant lightning threat generally extends up to 10 miles from the base of a thunderstorm cloud. And on rarer occasions, bolts can strike up to 15 miles from a thunderstorm.

ABOVE TREELINE: Get inside your vehicle immediately, do not lean against the doors, and wait at least 30 minutes after a storm passes overhead. If you are away from a vehicle, get away from summits, isolated trees and rocks. Find shelter but avoid small cave entrances and rock overhangs. They won’t protect you. Crouch down on your heels.

BELOW TREELINE: If you are in a forest, stay near a lower stand of trees. Stay away from tall, isolated trees or other tall objects.

WHAT’S SAFE SHELTER: Tents, trees, small caves and picnic shelters are not safe. A vehicle or a substantive, enclosed building are. Stay away from water and any metal.

ESSENTIALS: Carry these: Raingear, map and compass, flashlight or headlamp, sunglasses and sunscreen, matches or other fire starter, candles, extra food and water, extra layers of clothing, pocketknife, and a first aid kit.

For more information:

National Weather Service: http://www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov/index.htm

Rocky Mountain National Park: http://www.nps.gov/romo/planyourvisit/yoursafety.htm


Recommended for You


Loading...
Loading...
Loading...
 This Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014, photo shows the apartment complex in Aurora, Colo., which police say is the home of one of the three teenage girls who, according to U.S. authorities, were en route to join the Islamic State group in Syria when they were stopped at an airport in Germany. The two sisters, ages 17 and 15, and their 16-year-old friend have been reunited with their families in Colorado, according to an FBI spokeswoman. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

Posted 1 hour ago
 FILE - In this Oct. 9, 2014, file photo, Navajo presidential candidate Chris Deschene speaks to supporters in Window Rock, Ariz. Deschene has lost another round in a language fluency dispute, all but ending his bid for office. The tribe's high court on Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014, upheld a ruling from a lower court that said Deschene is not qualified to seek the top elected post because he doesn't speak fluent Navajo. (AP Photo/Felicia Fonseca, File)

Posted 1 hour ago
 Rob Olson of Erkelens & Olsen Auctioneers displays Rulon Gardner's memorabilia at his auction house Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014, in Salt Lake City. Mementos from the career of Olympic hero Rulon Gardner, including a USA Wrestling robe and a commemorative ring, will be auctioned off Saturday Oct. 25, 2014 in Salt Lake City. Next to it are dozens of medals the Greco-Roman wrestler won during his career, countless knives and watches. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Posted 1 hour ago
Back to top ^