Kids at A.J.'s summer weaher school
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WSAZ-TV
updated 8/16/2004 1:22:33 PM ET 2004-08-16T17:22:33

CHARLESTON - WV - Lightning is a natural phenomenon that catches our senses. The sight, sound, and even taste of a lightning bolt are fascinating, yet dangerous.

When you see a bolt of lightning it is the moment the negative charges in the cloud connect with the positive charges at the ground. When lightning is close, it will give off a blue color.

The sound of a lightning bolt is known as thunder. Thunder is actually lightning. Lightning is five times hotter than the surface of the sun. This is roughly 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit!

When the bolt connects from the ground to the cloud it heats the cool air so fast is sends a sonic wave outward. This wave is the loud rumble you call thunder.

If lightning is trying to connect with you or an object close by you will taste metal in your mouth. At this point you want to crouch down for protection.

Close to 65 people are killed by lightning a year. This surpasses the number of people killed from tornadoes a year! Two in every ten people are killed when struck by lightning. Ohio is in the top ten states for lightning related deaths.

Here is how you can find out how far a lightning bolt is from you. When you first see the bolt start counting; every 5 seconds that goes by before you hear thunder, one mile of distance is covered. For example: lightning flashes and you start counting. If you counted to 10 than the bolt of lightning was 2 miles away.

Next time there is a thunderstorm, from a safe place try it and then send me an e-mail and tell me how it came out.

This is the last A.J.'s Summer Weather School for this summer.We will leave this page up so you can use these experiments during the school year.Drop me an e-mail and send me some pictures of you and your projects.If you would like me to visit your school, drop me a note and I'll see if we can schedule a visit.

Remember, count on WSAZ's First Warning Weather for comprehensive coverage of severe weather. Subscribe to the WSAZ First Warning Personal Forecast to receive severe weather e-mail alerts on your home and work computers.

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