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#51321 - 08/01/17 03:27 PM August lightning- advice for noobs?
retarded Offline


Registered: 06/01/17
Posts: 19
Loc: SanFranfreako Bay Area
So 5 yrs back when I did the day hike in end-Jun, I reached the top around 2 or 3 in the afternoon and the sky was clear.

It seems that during August, that "late" at the top is risky due to lightning? I know the obvious basics of what to do when static/lightning and dark clouds are seen, but how does one know if clouds forming in the afternoon are benign?

For example, how to know if "typical" afternoon clouds are a hazard?


Edited by retarded (08/01/17 03:28 PM)

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#51322 - 08/01/17 03:53 PM Re: August lightning- advice for noobs? [Re: retarded]
Bob West Offline


Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 780
Loc: Bishop, CA, USA
Always check the weather forecast. If, for example, the forecast for the Eastern Sierra says "20% chance of thunderstorms", it is a good indication that lightning storms could occur on Mt. Whitney. The past several weeks have been like that over here in the Owens Valley area and thunderstorms have happened. The summit ridge and summit of Whitney are bad places to be in a thunderstorm.

Very large puffy clouds are good indicators of storm potential, and sometimes they can develop rapidly, over a couple of hours. Most mountain thunderstorms begin to occur in the afternoon and may continue into the night.

If your hair starts standing up or metal objects on you start to sparkle, run like hell off the mountain; you are about to be a target.


Edited by Bob West (08/01/17 03:56 PM)

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#51323 - 08/01/17 04:32 PM Re: August lightning- advice for noobs? [Re: Bob West]
retarded Offline


Registered: 06/01/17
Posts: 19
Loc: SanFranfreako Bay Area
Originally Posted By: Bob West

If your hair starts standing up or metal objects on you start to sparkle


Sparkle...LOL!

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#51328 - 08/01/17 07:45 PM Re: August lightning- advice for noobs? [Re: retarded]
Bob West Offline


Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 780
Loc: Bishop, CA, USA
Yes. I've seen my ice-axe and carabiners sparkle due to the build up of the static charge under a thunder cloud. Once, for example, it happened while descending Red Slate Mountain, and my hair standing up also. My partners and I ran down the scree slope until we were in a safer area. As we ran, lightning was striking the summit of Red Slate where we had been standing just a few minutes before.

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#51384 - 08/03/17 06:42 PM Re: August lightning- advice for noobs? [Re: Bob West]
Bobby49 Offline


Registered: 07/04/17
Posts: 41
Loc: California
I had a static discharge go off under my parka hood one time. Immediately I laid down as flat as I could.

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#51390 - 08/03/17 11:06 PM Re: August lightning- advice for noobs? [Re: Bobby49]
kikoaco Offline


Registered: 07/22/17
Posts: 13
Loc: California
For the record, I think you're supposed to crouch down and not lay flat. Laying flat provides more surface area for the current to potentially travel through. If you crouch down with only your feet touching the ground, there is a possibility the current will only travel up one leg and down the other instead of throughout your entire body.

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#51393 - 08/04/17 07:26 AM Re: August lightning- advice for noobs? [Re: retarded]
RichardK Offline


Registered: 11/06/09
Posts: 82
Loc: East Coast Florida
Read the weather forecast daily. Go to www.weather.gov and ask for Lone Pine, CA. Down in the bottom left corner of the Lone Pine forecast page, click Forecast Discussion. It's worth reading. Here is todays:

Quote:
.SYNOPSIS...Monsoonal moisture will be on the decrease starting
today, which will bring a downward trend in thunderstorm activity
starting today. Heavy rain threat still exists for this afternoon,
mainly over the Great Basin, then should be less of the a threat by
the weekend. Showers and thunderstorm chances should be limited to
the higher terrain by Sunday. Dry and sunnier weather should settle
in by the middle of next week a ridge of high pressure builds into
the Southwestern US. Temperatures will be return to near normal by
the beginning of next week.


Also, thunderstorms tend to be afternoon events. Start early enough to leave the summit by noon or sooner.

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