A meteorologist has revealed what people should do during an electrical storm.
Sydney was battered by a horrific storm on Friday, with the city’s southern part copping the brunt of the weather leaving the Pacific Highway blanketed in a white layer from hail.
Severe thunderstorm warnings were also issued across NSW by the Bureau of Meteorology.
Dr Ian Shepherd, the manager of the Northern Territory Severe Weather section at BOM, told Yahoo7 the safest places to be and where to avoid during a severe electrical storm.
He said the safest place would be any room inside the house, preferably one without windows.
“Even if lightning strikes the outside of your house, it could blow bits of wood or debris towards the window,” Dr Shepherd said.
He also recommended not getting “caught out in the open” and to find shelter inside, “even if it’s in your car”.
“As long as you are not touching the outside metal sections of your car you will be safe in there,” Dr Shepherd said.
He told the ABC people should avoid standing near trees because lighting can be attracted to them.
The room to avoid during a storm
Doing the washing is probably not the best idea while thunder sounds outside.
Meteorologist Eric Sorensen told US news outlet WQAD 8 the least safe room in the house during a storm was the laundry.
“When lightning strikes your home, it usually enters along the rooftop and chimney area. Occasionally, fires are started in the attics and roofs of homes due to lightning,” Mr Sorensen said.
“If the charge is strong enough, it finds a way to the ground via the electrical system of the house or metal pipes.
“Since pipes bringing water to the home and sewage out of the home are below ground, that’s where the electricity goes.”
Dr Shepherd told Yahoo7 the theory about the laundry was accurate to some extent but added the bathroom could also be a place to avoid.
“You shouldn’t have a shower during a lightning storm or speak to a phone connected to a cord and you should unplug electrical equipment,” Dr Shepherd said.
“So, the shower and the bathroom generally could be a risk from the point of view of plumbing.”
He said this was because water pipes and electrical cords, of course, conduct electricity.
According to reports, about 10 Australians die each year from lightning strikes, the ABC reported in 2013.
It is recommended to give CPR to anyone who has been struck by lightning straight away.