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Here in the Netherlands, we frequently experience onweer (thunderstorms) between the hot days. Just last Friday, we experienced heavy regenbuien (rain showers) and onweer in some areas. And it often hits quite plotseling (suddenly). So what to do in an onweer – or, perhaps more apt, what to avoid? Here are 3 things to avoid in a Dutch onweer.
The ANWB (the “Royal Dutch Touring Club”, mostly known for its work as Wegenwacht (road assistance) has some tips for what to do in an onweer. Do you hear any donderen (thunder)? Even if it is droog (dry), the ANWB advises you to expect it to be gevaarlijk (dangerous). So do not be outside, if possible!
What happens if a bliksem (lightning) will inslaan (impact) imminently around you? And how would you even know that?
You can actually sense that a blikseminslag (lightning strike) is imminent. If you can feel that your haartjes (little hairs) on your armen (arms) go up, and you get a statisch gevoel (static feeling) – then you can ervan uitgaan (expect) that bliksem will inslaan in your directe omgeving (immediate vicinity). Because bliksem likely hits the tallest place, you should try making yourself as small as possible – and not stand! Especially never stand below a tree – those are much higher than you!
Do not go zwemmen (swimming) during an onweer! That is very dangerous! In fact, there are lots of places to avoid. Belgian website meteo.be gives donders goede tips om je tegen de bliksem te beschermen (bloody good tips to protect yourself against lightning). Donders is the pun here – It refers to donder (thunder), but also donders, which means something like “very” or “bloody”. They have some places listed to avoid:
– Open water zoals vijvers en zwembaden (open water such as ponds and swimming pools)
– Hoogtes zoals de toppen van heuvels en bergen of uitzichtspunten (high points such as hill tops, mountains or observation points)
– Bosranden (forest edges)
– Ramen (ook gesloten ramen) (windows (also closed windows)
– Omheiningen (ook niet-metalen), bedradingen of leidingen (fencing (also non-metal ones), wiring or pipes)
– Boten en tenten (boats and tents)
– Hoge gebouwen en torens, alleenstaande bomen (high buildings and towers, isolated trees)
– Open vlakten (open plains)
– Metalen constructies (metal constructions)
That is a lot to think about – basically no metal or anything that has the remote capability to attract a blikseminslag. So don’t be in those places!
So the three things above are not great things to do in an onweer. So what should you do? Here are some tips.
If you still want more tips, this video should help!