We’ve been having some insomnia lately, and it’s weather related. We’ve now broken into a stable dry pattern, but the last week has been rainy, with much of the rain coming late night or early morning, in thunderstorms.

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary succinctly defines a thunderstorm as “a storm with lightning and thunder.” It’s first known usage was in 1652, as a compounding of “thunder” and “storm.”

We have fairly good shades on our windows, so we can’t really attest to how much lightning was in the air, but a true as it is that where there is smoke, there is fire, we’d say that where there is thunder, there is lightning. Judging by the amount of thunder we heard, there was plenty of lightning. Over two nights, we received about 10% of our average annual precipitation, during what is usually a dry time of year in our area. It seems that each night, we also received about 10% of our average nightly sleep.

On the other hand, our area received no major damage – oddly enough, a less severe complex, which moved through earlier in the week, caused major power outages. In the latest storm, we only experienced a couple of relatively brief outages. Aside from this, and our insomnia, the biggest impact that these storms seemed to have was creating grumpy coworkers who were suffering from their own lack of sleep.

As we do quite a bit of camping and hiking, we were glad to have been home when this weather moved through. Typically, if this type of weather is anticipated, we will cancel outings, whether as a family or as part of a larger group. Lightning is something outdoors people should take seriously. We’d refer you to the National Weather Service’s tips for safety when these conditions occur. If your outings take you into the back country, be sure to follow the link to the National Outdoor Leadership School’s Lightning Safety Guidelines.

We hope that thunderstorms, won’t scare you away from spending time outdoors, but we do think you should be informed on how to cope with them if, and when, they do appear.