VIDEO: Lightning lights up sky in Tampa Bay area

Joshua Copher recorded video of lightning strikes along the Tampa skyline.

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – It’s that time of year when afternoon and evening thunderstorms bring downpours of rain and booming thunder.

The storms also known to bring spectacular lightning shows.

If you’re lucky enough to snap a photo or record video at the precise moment that a lightning bolt lights up the sky, the results can be amazing.

Two Tampa Bay area residents managed to be in the right place at the right time and recorded video of lightning strikes during Friday night’s storms.

Storm Team 8 Meteorologist Ian Oliver says there were thousands of cloud-to-ground lightning strikes between 1 and 9 p.m. in the Tampa Bay area on Friday.

Joshua Copher recorded video of lightning strikes along the Tampa skyline.

Matthew Smith went to the rest area on the Palmetto side of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge and recorded lightning strikes in orange-colored clouds as the sun was going down.

Of course, lightning is very dangerous. Lightning kills an average of 47 people per year in the United States, according to the National Weather Service. In 2016, Florida led the nation in lightning deaths. Ten people lost their lives to lightning.

Here are some lightning safety tips from the National Weather Service

What You Need to Know

  • NO PLACE outside is safe when thunderstorms are in the area!!
  • If you hear thunder, lightning is close enough to strike you.
  • When you hear thunder, immediately move to safe shelter: a substantial building with electricity or plumbing or an enclosed, metal-topped vehicle with windows up.
  • Stay in safe shelter at least 30 minutes after you hear the last sound of thunder.

Indoor Lightning Safety

  • Stay off corded phones, computers and other electrical equipment that put you in direct contact with electricity.
  • Avoid plumbing, including sinks, baths and faucets.
  • Stay away from windows and doors, and stay off porches.
  • Do not lie on concrete floors, and do not lean against concrete walls.

Last Resort Outdoor Risk Reduction Tips

If you are caught outside with no safe shelter anywhere nearby the following actions may reduce your risk
  • Immediately get off elevated areas such as hills, mountain ridges or peaks
  • Never lie flat on the ground
  • Never shelter under an isolated tree
  • Never use a cliff or rocky overhang for shelter
  • Immediately get out and away from ponds, lakes and other bodies of water
  • Stay away from objects that conduct electricity (barbed wire fences, power lines, windmills, etc.)


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