MIDDLE OF THE STREET — Lightning is something that intrigues me a great deal. Its power and beauty along with its accompanying thunder are stunning to both see and hear.
Whenever there is a lightning storm, I love watching out the window and catch as many bolts as I can. Recently, however, I was a little closer than I would have liked to be.
A couple of weeks ago, I made the horrible decision to go out for a run. It was overcast but wasn't raining when I started and there was no lightning to be seen. In an effort to work off the pack of Oreo's and entire pizza I had eaten the day before, I decided to wear what is called a weight vest. It looks like a military tactical vest and there are metal plates in the front and back pockets to make my already grossly heavy body even heavier.
There were a lot of bad decisions that day, but the worst was not checking the weather. About a half-mile from home, the rain started coming down hard and the lightning made an appearance. If it had been far away, I would have felt better; but this lightning was close and I had made myself a lightning rod by standing 6 feet 3 inches tall with metal plates strapped to my chest and back. I was scared and kept thinking some video doorbell is about to watch the neighborhood moron get struck by lightning.
Thankfully, I didn't come in contact with a lightning bolt, and I've learned my lesson, but my fear was real and I relate to this video more than I wish I did.
Matthew Cipolla is a self-described storm hunter and posts his videos on YouTube. In August, he was in Bossier City, Louisiana, capturing a lightning storm on camera. As he heads down the street, a lightning bolt strikes a little too close for comfort and Cipolla's face says it all.
"I like to chase severe storms, and never in my life have I been too close," Cipolla wrote in the YouTube description. "I'll be surely careful next time."
You and me both, Matthew. You and me both.
By the way, lightning is Utah's second deadliest natural hazard, falling right behind avalanches, according to Be Ready Utah. If you are outdoors when a thunderstorm hits, safety experts recommend you seek shelter immediately or find the lowest spot away from tall objects like trees or poles. Visit BeReadyUtah.gov for more safety tips.