Here is an answer I got from an expert (see
below). He also said that tens to hundreds of
feet is a good bet for being safe.
Unfortunately, it's almost impossible to predict
where lightning will strike so it is also
difficult to guarantee being a certain distance
away from a strike!
Each flash is unique as to
strokes. Ocean water varies according to
salinity/temperature/polutants/etc. < So we end
up with a complex model: "It depends" is the right
answer, though an unsatisfactory one.
Science believes that lightning follows
"skin effect" behavior with current not
penetrating to any depth and magnitude falling off
rapidly with distance. National Lightning Safety
Lightning can strike as much as 10 miles away from
the rain area in a thunderstorm; that's about the
distance that you are able to hear the thunder
from the storm. In some instances, it may even be
difficult to tell that a storm is nearby. However,
if you can hear the thunder from a storm,
chances are that you are within striking distance
of that storm. The most effective safety
measure you can take to protect you and your
family from lightning is to remember the
following- If you can hear the thunder, you are
within striking distance of the lightning, take
Here is some stuff on protection...
Houses and large buildings provide the best
protection . But, you can still be injured or
even killed by lightning inside!! There are three
main ways lightning enters homes and buildings:
(1) a direct strike,
(2) through wires or pipes that extend outside the
(3) through the ground.
Regardless of the method of entrance, once in a
structure, the lightning can travel through the
electrical, phone, plumbing, and radio/television
reception systems. It can also travel through any
metal wires or bars in concrete walls or flooring
as well as windows and doors. This makes it
important to avoid contact with these
Phone use is the leading cause of indoor
lightning injuries in the United States.
Lightning can travel long distances in both phone
and electrical wires, particularly in rural areas
where other conductors are limited. A shelter
that does not contain plumbing, wiring, a metal
shell, or some other mechanism to provide
grounding is not safe!
Click Here to return to the search form.