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first time i've ever heard and seen it like this, it was amazing. im sure some of u in the east hear it a lot, but its not a common occurrence in california :icon_lol:

massive thunderhead clouds, thunder louder than gunshots, followed by heavy rain, after a crystal clear 100+ day. i could see it happening during summer but ive never seen it so i thought id post this :biggrin:
 

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Nothing quite like a good house-rattling thunderstorm, is there? I usually go out on the front porch and watch the storm roll through ;)
 

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I was so surprised when my sister-in-law who is from California responded similarly to a big thunderstorm here in Tornado Alley. She was like wow-wee and I was like what are you looking at? That incredible storm that might fill us with deadly energy or drop a tornado any second? I have so many trees on my property that have been struck by lighting that every season I seriously consider installing lighting abatement. I don't mean surge suppression for the electrical system (which I have), I mean the routing of a direct lightning hit to the ground somewhat more directly with the hope the house does not burst into flames as did a house about a mile and a half down the road did two years ago. Thunderstorms are such a constant presence that I didn't even consider the fact some folks might never have seen one. Very scary sometimes, but definitely very amazing.

first time i've ever heard and seen it like this, it was amazing. im sure some of u in the east hear it a lot, but its not a common occurrence in california :icon_lol:

massive thunderhead clouds, thunder louder than gunshots, followed by heavy rain, after a crystal clear 100+ day. i could see it happening during summer but ive never seen it so i thought id post this :biggrin:
 

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I was so surprised when my sister-in-law who is from California responded similarly to a big thunderstorm here in Tornado Alley. She was like wow-wee and I was like what are you looking at? That incredible storm that might fill us with deadly energy or drop a tornado any second? I have so many trees on my property that have been struck by lighting that every season I seriously consider installing lighting abatement. I don't mean surge suppression for the electrical system (which I have), I mean the routing of a direct lightning hit to the ground somewhat more directly with the hope the house does not burst into flames as did a house about a mile and a half down the road did two years ago. Thunderstorms are such a constant presence that I didn't even consider the fact some folks might never have seen one. Very scary sometimes, but definitely very amazing.
Building codes in your area should include lightning grounding, I would think. What kind of surge suppressor do you have? I was thinking of installing something like this when I upgrade the electrical in my house:

http://www.provantage.com/eaton-pvl080208yk~4EPW90FY.htm
 

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We have the same type of storms here. They're called monsoons in Arizona, not sure if they're also called that in Cali. Really beautiful storms.
 

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I did not either. It did not even rain here...
But I've heard and seen thunders and lightnings back in the Philippines. It's pretty cool.
 

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I enjoy them as they are a break from the normal sunny weather that occurs 98% of the year. Then again, I used to live in upstate NY where large thunderstorms were common, as well as blizzards that would kill the power for several days at a time...

The thunderstorm is still going on here by Sacramento. Actually, it might just be raining now with no thunder.
 

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This is what I'm talking about. This is more about trying to keep your house from bursting into flames than protecting electronics. Even with such a system, I imagine a significant direct strike could heat up the cables enough that shingles/connection points might reach combustion temperature. Also, lightning is fickle and there's a fair chance it would choose, at least partially, another path to ground rather than the installed cables. I do have a GE SurgePro installed in our breaker board. The electrical engineers in my family are skeptical that it would work, but I feel better about having it in place. One significant weak link often overlooked is the standard ground termination installed at construction. Contractors will often skimp on the depth and/or placement of the grounding rod and no inspector is going to pull the thing out of the ground to check depth. A good ground is much more difficult than I'd imagined. Our house is new, so no buried metal water pipes either. d

Building codes in your area should include lightning grounding, I would think. What kind of surge suppressor do you have? I was thinking of installing something like this when I upgrade the electrical in my house:

http://www.provantage.com/eaton-pvl080208yk~4EPW90FY.htm
 

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Fear the Swamp!
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massive thunderhead clouds, thunder louder than gunshots, followed by heavy rain, after a crystal clear 100+ day.
Sounds a lot like FL weather, only our thunder sounds like large cannon blasts sometimes.

Nothing quite like a good house-rattling thunderstorm, is there? I usually go out on the front porch and watch the storm roll through ;)
Me too. :)
 

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Nothing quite like a good house-rattling thunderstorm, is there? I usually go out on the front porch and watch the storm roll through ;)
I do the same thing too, but it may not be wise to do it around here. The Appalachian Mountains and the Great Smokey Mountains pretty much keep the tornadoes away, but NC is #4 on the list of most lightning strikes/deaths by state. Only Florida, Michigan and Pennsylvania have more. If you are golfing at Pinehurst, you better get out of the storm quickly.

http://weather.about.com/od/thunderstormsandlightning/tp/lightningstates.htm
 

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I think my twitter updates sums up my reaction:

"Dude, did somebody just set off some fireworks?"
"Oh, evidently it's lightning and thunder over SF, lolwut, we have lightning storms in the bay area?"

I've lived in alameda 4+ years, and I don't think I've ever experienced a lightning storm here in that time.

We get plenty of lightning storms like that up in norcal though, with hail even.
 

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I was pretty far away from it, since the gap bettween the flash and the actual thunder was a good 10-15+ seconds, but it was still very bright and loud.

What's really fun is up in whitmore when you're right under the lightning strike, and the thunder shakes the house.
What's not so fun is the power outages when lightning hits the powerlines. :hihi:
 

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It was loud here in San Francisco. No way anyone could sleep through it. I wish it would've lasted longer, I enjoyed it. A lot of people in SF lost their power however.
 

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If I hadn't been awake I would've slept through it. I've slept through (minor) earthquakes too.

I think I saw about 4 or 5 here, I wasn't counting. I was pretty much like 'eh, lightning, no big deal.'
 

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This is what I'm talking about. This is more about trying to keep your house from bursting into flames than protecting electronics. Even with such a system, I imagine a significant direct strike could heat up the cables enough that shingles/connection points might reach combustion temperature. Also, lightning is fickle and there's a fair chance it would choose, at least partially, another path to ground rather than the installed cables. I do have a GE SurgePro installed in our breaker board. The electrical engineers in my family are skeptical that it would work, but I feel better about having it in place. One significant weak link often overlooked is the standard ground termination installed at construction. Contractors will often skimp on the depth and/or placement of the grounding rod and no inspector is going to pull the thing out of the ground to check depth. A good ground is much more difficult than I'd imagined. Our house is new, so no buried metal water pipes either. d
Thanks for the info. As for the EEs in your family, nothing will protect your valuables from a direct lighting strike. The question is will it protect you from a nearby lightning strike. You've got the right kind of device. These also protect you from your washing machine, dishwasher, and garbage disposal too, as an added bonus.

I know one of my houses is protected with a lightning system like the one shown, but this has reminded me to double check the others.

And, do you know how to check if you have a good ground? I know the quality of the grounding can go up or down with the moisture in the soil, and that building codes have depths you need to go to, but how do you know if you have an older home?
 

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Yeah, my father (EE) was skeptical about the SurgePro, being 82 he's somewhat old school. The way it's wired, it operates in parallel bleeding rather inbetween interupping a surge and that's what he was skeptical of. I don't think my brother, the other EE, saw it. I think anyone that understands what lighting is would agree with your comments about a direct lighting strike. I was reading Rex Cauldwell's book Wiring a House, a Taunton pub if you're familiar with them. It's a bargain price right now on Amazon. Anyway, of course you are correct about moisture affecting the earth grounding system. His description of methods of earth grounding (pg. 97) go far beyond code. He written extensively on protecting well pumps for lighting damage and he's the best I've read on that subject. I think I have three of his books. He offers four methods of earth grounding from worst to best. His worst reads "Code minimum (unless you can prove 25 ohms or less with one rod.) Two rods are considdered inadequate for today's electronic equipment." That'd be two rods 8ft. deep 20 ft. apart. I guess that's what he feels code minimum should be. In any case, I'll not likely check this thread again, so PM me if I can help in any way. :biggrin: It sounds as if you probably have a better handle on this than I do though. Keep your head down!

Thanks for the info. As for the EEs in your family, nothing will protect your valuables from a direct lighting strike. The question is will it protect you from a nearby lightning strike. You've got the right kind of device. These also protect you from your washing machine, dishwasher, and garbage disposal too, as an added bonus.

I know one of my houses is protected with a lightning system like the one shown, but this has reminded me to double check the others.

And, do you know how to check if you have a good ground? I know the quality of the grounding can go up or down with the moisture in the soil, and that building codes have depths you need to go to, but how do you know if you have an older home?
 
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