is Colorados most dangerous
weather hazard. Since the late
1980s, more people have been
killed or injured by lightning
than by any other weather-related
phenomena in Colorado. In an
average year, lightning kills
three and injures eighteen people.
during a thunderstorm in Colorado's
mountains can be very dangerous.
In the summer, thunderstorms
typically begin to form over
the mountains in late morning
or early afternoon. To minimize
your risk of exposure to lightning,
it's best to hike early in the
Does Lightning Form?
The turbulent, swirling air
inside a thundercloud creates
positively and negatively charged
areas, with the negative charges
clustering at the bottom of
the cloud. Because opposite
charges attract each other,
positive charges on the ground
collect beneath the cloud and
follow it. When the positive
and negative charges finally
meet, they complete an electrical
Lightning Resource Center
The Colorado Lightning Resource
Center is based at the National
Weather Services offices
in Pueblo. The centers
site contains all sorts of great
information about when and where
lightning strikes in Colorado.
credits: © Corbis Images,
© NCAR, © NOAA, courtesy
NEWS4, Colorado's news channel.