Yukoners film hair-raising experience in electrical storm

Two Yukoners recently filmed themselves on a mountaintop electrical storm: charged with static electricity and their hair standing up. They didn't know it at the time, but that's usually followed by a lightning strike.

Electric charge usually a final warning before lightning strike

RAW: Yukoners film hair-raising experience in electrical storm 0:39

Two Yukoners who had a close call with an electrical storm say they didn't realize the danger at the time.
Aedan Greer of Whitehorse is shown among the Yukon mountains with a dark cloud approaching. (Nigel Stubbins)

Aeden Greer was hiking with Nigel Stubbins in preparation for a sheep hunt. When the two got caught in a hailstorm on a rocky mountaintop, they suddenly felt charged with static electricity.

Both men say their hair was standing up.  

"We started feeling a tingle as soon as we were in the storm. I felt like I had mosquitoes in my hood. I could hear the buzzing going on underneath my hat," Greer says.

The electrical sensation "was neat and then it started to hurt. It felt like I was rubbing my feet together and touching the door knobs. And I was constantly getting shocked. It was a constant feeling, it wasn't an individual zap."  

Greer says there wasn't a place to run for cover and so the men walked back to the ATV.

'Lucky' not to have been struck

During the storm Greer filmed himself with his smartphone. The video has screeching static noise, as electricity interferes with the device. 

"I am sure if it was nighttime you would have seen it, the electricity coming off me," he says.

After returning home Greer called Environment Canada and described what happened. He says a meteorologist described the experience as a close call. 
Aeden Greer says he called Environment Canada after returning home. A meteorologist told him the buzzing is "usually the sound you'd hear before being struck by lightning." (Philippe Morin/CBC)

Usually this type of electrical charge can be a final warning before a lightning strike.

"He told me that (buzzing) is the last sound you'd hear before getting struck by lightning. It's unbelievable. I feel pretty lucky because — what's the reason we didn't get struck? It's amazing." 

Lightning kills an average of 10 Canadians a year and seriously injures another 125.


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