Lightning and hair standing up on end

Weather Blog

Dear Tom,
What is happening when you’re out on the middle of the lake and everyone’s hair is standing up on end?
—Patty Szafraniec, Beulah, Michigan
Dear Paul,
When in a boat and one’s hair stands on end, thunderstorms are in the vicinity, lightning is about to strike and it is time to get off the water immediately and seek shelter. “Out on the middle of the lake” suggests you are a good distance from shore (are you referring to Lake Michigan?) and getting to shore “immediately” is not an option. The best advice is to lower yourself, crouching down, trying to make as little contact with the boat as possible. Do this for as long as it takes for the danger to pass. Thunderstorms rarely “sneak up,” and, in addition, boating should be avoided when conditions are merely favorable for thunderstorm development.

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