Hi, there, Dear Reader. It’s early afternoon here in my corner of west-central Florida on Friday, November 5, 2021. It’s a gray, wet, and cool fall day here. Currently, the temperature is 69˚F (21˚C) under cloudy conditions. With the wind blowing from the east at 9 MPH (14 KM/H) and humidity at 79%, the wind-chill factor is 68˚F (20˚C). The forecast for today calls for thunderstorms to pass through our area. The high will be 74˚F (23˚C). Tonight, thunderstorms will continue. The low will be 53˚F (12˚C).
As you can imagine, this first Friday of November 2021 is cold, gloomy, and not a good day to use electronics. I’m using my desktop computer now because it’s only cloudy and the thunderstorms have not started to make their presence known…yet. According to my computer’s Weather app, the worst of the storm activity is in my hometown of Miami; in the radar images provided by the app, I can see thunderstorm activity over South Florida. However, those same images show there’s a mass of bad weather overhead, and T-storms can form at any minute.
I try to avoid using electronics – especially those that are connected to a power outlet – during storms. It’s not safe to be working with a computer – unless you’re using a laptop on battery power – when lightning is in the area. A lightning strike will not only fry your computer’s delicate innards, but it can also injure you. Depending on how close a lightning bolt hits to your house or how much current seeps into your soon-to-be-dead PC, the effects range from a mild electric shock to a one-way trip to what Shakespeare called “the undiscovered country.”
And if you think listening to a stereo system or watching TV during a T-storm is a great idea, you’d be shocked to learn that it’s an activity akin to playing Russian roulette with your AV stuff. I ought to know; in 1974, I lost my black and white set when a lightning bolt landed in the backyard of our house in Westchester. Thirty years later, I lost an eMachines computer on a day much like this one. It wasn’t even raining nearby, but a lightning bolt struck a tree in a neighbor’s yard. The resulting surge was too strong for my power strip’s surge protector and burned out my computer’s motherboard.
My motto during a Florida thunderstorm is “Better safe than sorry.”
On that note, Dear Reader, I’ll close for now. Until next time, Dear Reader, stay safe, stay healthy, and be mindful of those thunderstorms. And as always, I’ll catch you on the sunny side of things.