With lightning in Northern California forecast, hold off on that shower. Here’s why

There’s a chance of thunder and lightning in parts of Northern California and the Central Valley on Wednesday as the latest in a series of storm fronts moves through the region.

Such a strong chance that you might want to hold off taking a shower during the thunderstorm, according to the CDC.

David Spector, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Hanford, said conditions are right for a thunderstorm — caused when cold air aloft moves over warmer air closer to the surface of the earth, destabilizing the atmosphere. Heavy rain might also accompany the storm, he added.

In Sacramento, weather service meteorologist Cory Mueller said there’s a chance of thunderstorms Wednesday afternoon across the entire Sacramento Valley, with the highest likelihood south of Marysville.

And thunderstorms bring their own hazards and warnings.

The Centers for Disease Control noted the chance of being struck by lightning is less than one in a million, with Florida and Texas enduring the most lightning-related deaths.

The CDC also issued cautionary guidelines for anyone caught outside when lightning is nearby. Among them:

  • Do not lie on the ground. Lightning causes currents along the surface that can injure more than 100 feet away.

  • Do not take cover under a tree, which may be struck by a bolt.

  • If there are no safe shelters in sight, crouch down in a ball-like position: put your feet together, squat low, tuck your head, and cover your ears.

  • Get inside as soon as possible.

But wait... just because your are inside doesn’t mean you are in the clear.

The CDC noted how to stay safe in your house. Here’s what not to do:

  • Don’t take a shower in a thunderstorm. That’s right. The government agency said lightning can travel through plumbing, so it’s best to not bathe, wash dishes, or wash your hands. While it sounds far-fetched, the Daily Mail reported in February 2018 that an Australian man was seriously injured when showering after his home was struck by a lightning bolt. He was rushed to a hospital and survived.

  • Stay away from windows and doors, where the risk from lightning is higher.

  • Avoid electrical devices if they are plugged in to a wall outlet. That includes televisions and computers.

  • If you are going to make a phone call, use a cell phone, and not a land line connected to a cord.

The Bee’s Hanh Truong contributed to this story

What do you want to know about life in Sacramento? Ask our service journalism team your top-of-mind questions in the module below or email servicejournalists@sacbee.com.