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Lightning kills man beneath cloudless sky
MiamiHerald.com ^ | Fri., Jun. 22, 2007 | Tere Negrete & Luisa Yanez

Posted on 06/22/2007 2:33:21 AM PDT by jsh3180

A Dade landscaper died after being struck by an unusual type of lightning that's stronger, hotter, lasts longer and strikes from clear skies. By TERE FIGUERAS NEGRETE AND LUISA YANEZ

With no rain or even clouds to warn him of the danger, death came literally out of the blue Thursday to a self-employed landscaper. The killer was a powerful bolt of lightning that cracked through perfectly clear skies.

David Canales, 41, of West Miami-Dade, was on the job at a Pinecrest home when the bolt hit. It first seared a tree, then traveled and struck Canales, standing nearby.

Experts said Canales was killed by a weather phenomenon fittingly called a ''bolt from the blue'' or ''dry lightning'' because it falls from clear, blue skies. He was pronounced dead at South Miami Hospital.

Canales is the latest victim of one of Florida's least enviable honors: It's the country's lightning capital. Five of the 47 people killed by lightning across the country last year were in Florida.

Dan Dixon, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Miami, said that when Canales was hit, a typical afternoon storm was forming but nowhere near the area.

Weather data showed that lightning activity picked up north of Pinecrest shortly before 1 p.m., as a storm gathered momentum and swept through Coral Gables and then downtown.

''Most lightning will come from the base of a thunderstorm, inside that rain-shaft area,'' Dixon explained. ``But occasionally, what we call a bolt from the blue comes out of a thunderstorm still several miles away.''

The fair-weather bolts pack a bigger, deadlier punch and form differently.

Most lightning bolts carry a negative charge, but ''bolts from the blue'' have a positive charge, carry as much as 10 times the current, are hotter and last longer.

The bolts normally travel horizontally away from the storm and reach farther than typical lightning, then curve to the ground. This bolt struck the front yard of a home at 10500 SW 62nd Ave.

''My wife said the sky was blue, but the lightning bolt was the most horrible sound she had heard in her life,'' said Clemente Vazquez-Bello, owner of the home where Canales and two workers had come to do landscaping.

Startled by the violent sound, Margarita Vazquez-Bello ran to the backyard. The men were not there. Canales' workers were knocking on the front door, seeking help.

She dialed 911. Officers with the Village of Pinecrest and Miami-Dade Fire-Rescue arrived at the home. But Canales was in grave condition when transported, said rescue spokesman Lt. Elkin Sierra.

The Vazquez-Bellos rushed to South Miami Hospital, where Canales was pronounced dead. Canales' wife, also at the hospital, could not be reached for comment.

Vazquez-Bello said Canales was ''a wonderful human being'' and a dependable hard worker.

''We feel terrible about this,'' said Vazquez-Bello, a Miami attorney.

Dixon said protecting yourself from such unexpected lightning is difficult.

''They are very unpredictable and very dangerous. We urge people to stay indoors even if you hear thunder only faintly in the distance,'' Dixon said. ``If you're close enough to hear thunder, you're close enough to be struck by lightning.''

Earlier this month, a worker was hospitalized after being struck at a construction site in Miami. Nine people, including three children, were forced out of their Plantation home after a lightning strike caused a fire.

There has been at least one fatality in South Florida this year: A person on a roof in Miramar was killed by lightning May 19, Dixon said.

It's not the first time in South Florida ''bolts from the blue'' have proven deadly.

In August 1988, a Norwegian couple vacationing in South Florida were struck while standing on a Fort Lauderdale beach. Witnesses said the sky was cloudless.


TOPICS: Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: lightning; weather
I guess when your number is up........... I had not heard of this type of lightning before. I did have a friend years ago get struck by "ball" lightning while sitting in a chair inside his house. He was watching the storm with the door open, a bolt of lightning struck 100 yards away from the house, and rolled like a ball across the field, in through his front door and nailed him in his chair. The chair had metal legs and there was four burn holes clear through the floor where he had been sitting. He survived.
1 posted on 06/22/2007 2:33:22 AM PDT by jsh3180
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To: jsh3180

Seconds before being hit, the victim was reported to have said, “You know, that Clinton family is the most honest and beautiful bunch of people on earth! We’d be crazy not to vote for Hillary in 2008!”


2 posted on 06/22/2007 2:41:17 AM PDT by GadareneDemoniac
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To: jsh3180

That’s why I avoid negative people.


3 posted on 06/22/2007 2:51:50 AM PDT by Thrownatbirth (.....when the sidewalks are safe for the little guy.)
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To: jsh3180
Geez ... sure hate it when that happens.
4 posted on 06/22/2007 3:02:50 AM PDT by BluH2o
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To: IncPen; Forecaster; BartMan1

strange weather ping


5 posted on 06/22/2007 3:09:20 AM PDT by Nailbiter
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To: jsh3180

I have heard of this type of lightning: fascinating.


6 posted on 06/22/2007 3:11:31 AM PDT by windsorknot
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To: jsh3180

“Son, there’s just something about you I don’t like.”


7 posted on 06/22/2007 3:17:01 AM PDT by RichInOC (No! BAD Rich!)
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To: jsh3180
Satellite based laser?

Some years ago, an 80 foot high black cherry tree in my back yard was struck by lighting and split in half from top to bottom. When my neighbor came over to look at it, he asked "have you sinned recently?"

8 posted on 06/22/2007 3:24:27 AM PDT by Dixie Yooper (Ephesians 6:11)
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To: jsh3180
Was he an abortion doctor?


9 posted on 06/22/2007 3:29:45 AM PDT by SkyPilot
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To: jsh3180

Much more:
http://www.crh.noaa.gov/pub/ltg/crh_boltblue.php


10 posted on 06/22/2007 3:37:56 AM PDT by xcamel ("It's Thompson Time!")
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To: jsh3180
General info about lightning here:

Nat'l Geo Lightning Facts

11 posted on 06/22/2007 3:57:46 AM PDT by elli1
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To: jsh3180

His last words were reportedly, “If this is an amnesty bill may God strike me.....”.


12 posted on 06/22/2007 4:04:16 AM PDT by NavVet (O)
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To: jsh3180

The ultimate ZOT.


13 posted on 06/22/2007 4:13:15 AM PDT by Non-Sequitur (Save Fredericksburg. Support CVBT.)
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To: Non-Sequitur

Yes. Zots out of the blue can be nasty.


14 posted on 06/22/2007 4:16:50 AM PDT by xp38
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To: Thrownatbirth
"Always with the negative vibes. Youse got to think positive thoughts. Nice, positive, thoughts."


15 posted on 06/22/2007 4:18:09 AM PDT by Leisler (Just be glad your not getting all the Government you pay for.)
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To: NavVet
His last words were reportedly, “If this is an amnesty bill may God strike me.....”.

I will admit that I was hoping it was one of the Special Bargainers.

We urge people to stay indoors even if you hear thunder only faintly in the distance...

We've been screaming thunder right into their ears and they've been ignoring it.

"But I say take the cash and let the credit go, nor heed the rumble of a distant drum." Well, our boys have definitely taken the cash and they are definitely not heeding the rumble...

16 posted on 06/22/2007 4:21:26 AM PDT by Sal (I had an epiphany when my "good" Senator Kyl revealed himself to be a LIAR,corrupt to the core!)
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To: Leisler
"Always with the negative vibes. Youse got to think positive thoughts. Nice, positive, thoughts."



"Yeah? Well, we got forty tons of negative vibes in the town square."

One of my favorites. :-)
17 posted on 06/22/2007 4:39:11 AM PDT by Thrownatbirth (.....when the sidewalks are safe for the little guy.)
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To: xcamel

wow - weather I never knew about before. Even under a clear sky ...


18 posted on 06/22/2007 4:44:05 AM PDT by Puddleglum
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To: jsh3180

I don’t think it mentioned that these bolts tend to come off the top of storm clouds. (At the edge)


19 posted on 06/22/2007 4:48:54 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck
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To: jsh3180

He was not a well grounded individual......


20 posted on 06/22/2007 4:50:27 AM PDT by The Louiswu (Never Forget!)
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To: jsh3180

That sucks.


21 posted on 06/22/2007 4:52:20 AM PDT by WildWeasel
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To: jsh3180

When I was 18 or so, I was laying on my back underneath a Combine working on it. The grain head was in the raised position, so the entire (huge) machine was isolated from earth ground by the tires. I was lying on the ground and touching the machine as I was working on it. Wasn’t a cloud in the sky or noise of any kind when and I got a serious shock. Didn’t kill me obviously, but I am pretty sure I discarded those undies. All I can figure is that huge machine acted like an antenna and grounded a bunch of static out of the atmosphere.


22 posted on 06/22/2007 4:56:42 AM PDT by IamConservative (I could never be a liar; there's too much to remember.)
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To: IamConservative

Overhead high voltage power lines can also induce large voltages in objects beneath.


23 posted on 06/22/2007 5:02:51 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck
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To: WildWeasel

Hurricane season started 2-3 weeks ago. On the first day we had a huge thunderstorm. We have had thunderstoms every couple of days now. Just last week I was walking to my car and a new thunderstorm was coming and I just had a “funny feeling” and I high-tialed it indoors thinking something like this may happen.


24 posted on 06/22/2007 5:03:15 AM PDT by FreeManWhoCan (An American in Miami)
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To: jsh3180

Saw this in 1980. It was a clear sky, sunny day and I was in the basement starting to walk out with a 5’ long steel prybar to tear out the old fence posts on the hill above the house that was struck.

I changed some of my habits that very day.


25 posted on 06/22/2007 5:04:12 AM PDT by Rb ver. 2.0 (The Republican party of today is the Whig party of 1856.)
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To: jsh3180
It’s not nice to fool whoever God has in charge of
lightning.
26 posted on 06/22/2007 5:07:01 AM PDT by WKB (It's hard to tell who's more afraid of Fred Thompson; The Dims or the rudibots.)
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To: jsh3180
Canales' wife, also at the hospital, could not be reached for comment.

And what is the purpose of wanting a comment from a woman whose husband was just killed? These journalists are such morons.

27 posted on 06/22/2007 5:08:44 AM PDT by Right Wing Assault ("..this administration is planning a 'Right Wing Assault' on values and ideals.." - John Kerry)
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To: WKB
Or should that be whomever?
Just like them stlactights
I can never remember.
28 posted on 06/22/2007 5:09:09 AM PDT by WKB (It's hard to tell who's more afraid of Fred Thompson; The Dims or the rudibots.)
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To: jsh3180

We get that type of lightning here in Houston. We call it “heat lightning.” Happens every year in August and September.


29 posted on 06/22/2007 5:10:04 AM PDT by avacado
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To: jsh3180

His last words were “Viva La Raza!”


30 posted on 06/22/2007 5:14:08 AM PDT by montag813
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To: Thrownatbirth

Now that’s a positive comment!


31 posted on 06/22/2007 5:17:03 AM PDT by nevergore ("It could be that the purpose of my life is simply to serve as a warning to others.")
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To: jsh3180

This bolt from the blue phenom...can we nominate recipients for this “reward”?

I have a few in mind...bet most of the rest of you do, too!


32 posted on 06/22/2007 5:20:52 AM PDT by GGpaX4DumpedTea
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To: jsh3180

If the positive potential is above, wouldn’t current flow be from the ground, rather than to it as described by the article?


33 posted on 06/22/2007 5:25:17 AM PDT by Doohickey (Giuliani: Brokeback Republican)
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To: Thrownatbirth

Twas a great movie.


34 posted on 06/22/2007 5:33:36 AM PDT by Robert A. Cook, PE (I can only donate monthly, but Hillary's ABBCNNBCBS continue to lie every day!)
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To: montag813

No need to bring race into this....


35 posted on 06/22/2007 6:13:45 AM PDT by 2dogjoe (Have a Blessed Day)
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To: Doohickey
If the positive potential is above, wouldn’t current flow be from the ground, rather than to it as described by the article?

Current flow is opposite of electron flow.
36 posted on 06/22/2007 6:17:03 AM PDT by Thrownatbirth (.....when the sidewalks are safe for the little guy.)
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To: jsh3180

Was Rudy Giuliani around?


37 posted on 06/22/2007 6:18:00 AM PDT by RockinRight (Our 44th President will be Fred Dalton Thompson!)
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To: Dixie Yooper
Maybe like the laser on this movie:


38 posted on 06/22/2007 6:19:17 AM PDT by RockinRight (Our 44th President will be Fred Dalton Thompson!)
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To: HiTech RedNeck
Overhead high voltage power lines can also induce large voltages in objects beneath.

There weren't any power lines around, in fact, it the machine was broke down in the middle of the field. I have experienced what you describe though. If you walk under a really high voltage line, the hair on your arm will stand up. Very creepy feeling.

39 posted on 06/22/2007 6:21:41 AM PDT by IamConservative (I could never be a liar; there's too much to remember.)
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To: The Louiswu
He was not a well grounded individual......

You better be positive because no one's gonna insulate you from that comment.....

40 posted on 06/22/2007 6:21:54 AM PDT by andy58-in-nh
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To: GGpaX4DumpedTea

I have several candidates in mind...


41 posted on 06/22/2007 6:24:18 AM PDT by alarm rider (Why should I not vote my conscience?)
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To: jsh3180

This happened to a friend of mine. He was on a motorcycle. Witnesses that I also know said there wasn’t a cloud in the sky.


42 posted on 06/22/2007 6:24:27 AM PDT by tiki
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To: jsh3180

Nothing to see here....Rudi on the stump......move on....


43 posted on 06/22/2007 6:29:02 AM PDT by Freemeorkillme
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To: jsh3180
I once saw someone killed by a “bolt from the blue” in Miami Beach in the late 80’s. I was walking down the sidewalk the runs between Ocean Drive and the beach when from out of nowhere a huge lightning bolt struck the sand about 200 feet away; the flash and the crack of thunder were almost simultaneous. Almost right away people on the beach nearby started yelling and screaming, and soon the ambulance came but the poor man the bolt struck was already dead. There was only one lightning strike from out of a cloudless sky on a sunny day, and no rain or thunderstorm followed. It was a very strange thing to see.
44 posted on 06/22/2007 6:30:40 AM PDT by PUGACHEV
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To: jsh3180
I guess when your number is up........... I had not heard of this type of lightning before.

The lightning is still coming from a thunderstorm, but like the article says it travels horizontally first. Saying that the bolt is coming out of the blue is misleading. I've almost been hit by such lightning, and to say it will get your attention is an understatement.

I have seen lightning come from non storm clouds, which is even rarer than this horizontal lightning.

45 posted on 06/22/2007 6:33:54 AM PDT by Moonman62 (The issue of whether cheap labor makes America great should have been settled by the Civil War.)
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To: HiTech RedNeck
Overhead high voltage power lines can also induce large voltages in objects beneath.

I have a friend who measured 400 volts between the chassis of his camp trailer and ground. It was parked under some very high-voltage lines on his property.

46 posted on 06/22/2007 6:36:33 AM PDT by poindexter
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To: jsh3180
A similar thing happened a few years back in Vail, Colorado. There was a person struck by lightning even though it was a cloudless day. However, on the other side of the mountain range, there was a T-storm. As mentioned in the article, the bolt went horizontal over the mountain and then to the ground. Nasty !!!!
47 posted on 06/22/2007 6:36:40 AM PDT by CORedneck
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To: andy58-in-nh
You better be positive because no one's gonna insulate you from that comment.....

Watts amatter with that comment? I find your reply shocking.

48 posted on 06/22/2007 6:42:17 AM PDT by Graybeard58 (Remember and pray for SSgt. Matt Maupin - MIA/POW- Iraq since 04/09/04)
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To: Graybeard58

Ohm my, wire you complaining? I didn’t mean to be revolting; just trying to stay current here.


49 posted on 06/22/2007 6:48:09 AM PDT by andy58-in-nh
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To: Graybeard58
Watts amatter with that comment? I find your reply shocking.

As reVolting as it is, my capacitance for resistance has been overwhelmed. We should all go ohm before somebody shunts this thread down.

50 posted on 06/22/2007 6:53:53 AM PDT by TChris (The Republican Party is merely the Democrat Party's "away" jersey - Vox Day)
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