Storm chasers face multiple hazards in pursuit of Earth’s most violent storms.
They include getting blasted by storm debris, bombarded by hail, blown away by a tornado’s winds, and swept away by a flash flood
Lightning also frequently poses a danger for storm chasers, and came close to claiming a victim Tuesday. Scott Sheppard of SevereStudios Storm Chasing was struck in the arm recording rainbow footage near Fairburn, South Dakota. Here’s the video (the strike occurs 14 seconds in):
In addition to the dramatic boom generated by the lightning, the resulting burn scars in the pavement (shown towards the end of the video) are remarkable.
Generally, a car is a safe place to be during lightning due to the Faraday cage effect in which the car’s frame, comprised of conducting material, serves as a shield. But once you open the window and extend limbs, you lose protection and expose yourself.
“The strike hit his arm and then traveled down to the ground and blew a hole in the pavement,” SevereStudios’ Facebook page says. “The lightning also disabled his vehicle which had to be towed. Scott has a sore arm but is otherwise OK.”