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Don't Stay Under Trees During Thunderstorms

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This is common advice, I remember being told when I was a little kid if a thunderstorm rolls in to get away from any trees or other tall objects and get indoors if possible. Quite an impressive picture.

Lightning is amazing and unpredictable for what it does.  A few weeks ago, lightning apparently hit a medium size tree (10" trunk) about 50 ft from my home.  It destroyed the wall wart supply to my router and only the part of the router that allowed connection to the modem.  I am on fiber optic, but my underground mains supply was nearby.   My PC would connect to the router just fine.  That was a perplexing problem.  A few days later, I saw some long splinters of wood in the yard.  I didn't immediately associate the two events, but figured the tree was simply dead from some other reason.  After cutting it down, the top 15 to 20 feet were normal.  From there on down, the bark was separated from the rest of the trunk.  It just peeled off like the shell of a hard-boiled egg.

My home is in a small clearing in the middle of a forest. It was just that tree's bad luck. (And my good luck.)  Some people survive lightning strikes, many don't.  I don't mess with lightning if I can possibly avoid it.

Apparently another risk is that the sap can explode, sending bark shrapnel flying.

I thought it was mostly the water in the tree that would flash vaporize and cause the tree to explode. I suppose sap is mostly water.


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