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Monsoon awareness: Thunderstorms

Eddie Garcia
June 16, 2017 05:30 PM

This is the third story in a series. For part 1 about gusts and dust, click here. For part 2 about flooding, click here

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – By definition, every thunderstorm has lightning. During monsoon season, thunderstorms come around just about every single day.

Meteorologist Kerry Jones said lightning can even strike in areas where rain isn’t falling.

"While you think you may not be in danger of that thunderstorm that's over the Sandias, you're well into striking distance,” Jones said. “So what we like to say is: When thunder roars, go indoors.”

If you even hear thunder, you are in potential danger of a lightning strike.

"We usually say 10 miles from a thunderstorm, but just last year in the Jemez Mountains, I documented lightning 14 miles away from where the rain was occurring," Jones said.

That's why Jones said smart planning of outdoor activities is crucial during the monsoon season.

"If you are planning activities – a hike in the mountains, an afternoon picnic – understand that most of our lightning in New Mexico occurs between 2 and 7 p.m.,” Jones said. “Plan accordingly.”

It’s also a good precaution for campers stuck in the middle of a storm to have their vehicle right next to camp. It could be a life-saver.

"In that scenario, you want to be in your car,” Jones said. “A hard-topped vehicle is what protects you.”

Credits

Eddie Garcia

Copyright 2017 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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