SOUTH DAKOTA - Lightning is not uncommon in South Dakota and in fact lightning can occur when it is snowing. In April 2019, South Dakota saw waves of "thundersnow" as a powerful storm system brought very heavy snows and blizzard conditions to the region.
Any type of lightning can be dangerous even from a snow storm to a thunderstorm. Lightning hits the United States about 25 million times per year and kills on average about 45-50 people. Lightning, hotter than the surface of the sun has a temperature around 50,000 degrees!
As the saying goes... when thunder roars, go indoors. There is no safe place outside during a lightning event and typically if you can hear thunder, you are close enough that you can be struck by lightning.
Once inside do not touch electrical equipment such as computer, TVs, phones with cords (cell phone not charging is okay to use), or any other type of cords. Avoid plumbing items, washing your hands, taking a shower or washing dishes. If lightning hits, plumbing and electrical items are good conductors and can travel through them causing serious injuries to you.
Do not forget your pet. Dog houses are not safe shelters and dogs on chains are vulnerable to lightning strikes.
Stay safe this severe weather season and remember, when thunder roars, go indoors.