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NASA scientist explains rare and deadly lightning storm in Venice Beach




Lightning strike at Hermosa Beach, California. A 15-minute thunderstorm that hit Venice Beach Sunday left a 20-year-old man dead and four others injured by direct lightning strikes. .
Lightning strike at Hermosa Beach, California. A 15-minute thunderstorm that hit Venice Beach Sunday left a 20-year-old man dead and four others injured by direct lightning strikes. .
Photo by Greg Foster via Flickr Creative Commons

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A 15-minute thunderstorm that hit Venice Beach Sunday left a 20-year-old man dead and four others injured by direct lightning strikes. Although experts say that lightning strikes on the coast are rare, Los Angeles could be subjected to more lightning and thunder until Wednesday.

Sunday’s lightning strikes have proven that oceanic lightning is just as deadly as its land counterparts. Ocean Today explains that when lightning hits the water, it spreads and acts like a conductor, electrocuting fish that are near the surface. The odds of getting struck by lightning in California are 1 in 7.5 million. However, the National Weather Service is still advising people that “When thunder roars, go indoors.”

Do you feel more aware of coastal lightning strikes after Sunday’s news? What are your opinions on preparations for future lightning storms in Southern California?

Guest:

Bill Patzert, Ph.D., Climatologist, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration)