The Lightning Story at Yosemite | 3,000 strikes in a month!

Since July 14, Yosemite National Park has experienced over 3,000 lightning strikes with more than 21 fire starts. Most fires are between 8000’ and 9000’ elevation.  All storms were accompanied with rain.  We are entering the “season of lightning,” be careful.

Lightning - duck and cover

Lightning – duck and cover

The park has some guidelines for what to do in thunderstorms:

– Count the seconds between the flash of the lightning and the sound of the thunder; divide the number of seconds by five to get a very rough estimate of the distance that the lightning storm is away from you.

– The 30/30 Rule is the If, after seeing lightning, you can’t count to 30 before hearing the thunder, get down off of ridges and mountain tops to lower elevation areas sheltered from lightning strikes. Stay in low lands for 30 minutes after hearing the last clap of thunder.

– Avoid tall, isolated, or solitary trees, water, metal, and power lines.vLightning often strikes the tallest object in the area.

– Find an open, low space on solid ground. If in the forest with no clearing, position yourself under the shortest trees you can find.

– Seek a place sheltered from direct strikes (avoid high points and tall objects) and ground currents (avoid tree roots).

– Make yourself a small target by crouching on your toes, hands covering your ears, head between your knees. Crouch down on a sleeping pad, pack, or other non-metal material to insulate yourself from ground currents.

– Touch the ground as little as possible; the ground conducts electricity. Do not lie flat.

– Remove metal objects and electrical devices from your body.

– Space yourself at least 15 feet from your hiking companions. Everyone won’t get hit.


Unrelated thought worth quoting: Go grease lightning, you’re burning up the quarter mile — Grease lightning, go grease lightning. – GREASE

MrHalfDome™ – Rick Deutsch –

One Best Hike: Yosemite’s Half Dome

About Mr Half Dome - Rick Deutsch

Mr Half Dome. Has written the only half dome hiking guide, One Best Hike: Yosemite's Half Dome. Has hiked it 31 times to day. Lives in San Jose, CA Available for presentations. Carpe Diem Experience, LLC
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One Response to The Lightning Story at Yosemite | 3,000 strikes in a month!

  1. Maureen L says:

    I was in the park the weekend of July 18-20, and wow, did we have a storm shortly after noon on Sunday, including hail.

    Be sure to check the park’s website for road and campground closures.

    As I write, both the Big Oak Flat Road from Crane Flat down to 140 and the Crane Flat, Yosemite Creek, and Bridalveil Creek campgrounds are closed.

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