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Lightning Strikes!

July 24
14:53 2014

lightning strikes-smSummer thunderstorms (July – September) provide beauty and excitement during travel through our region, but they also bring risk. Dangerous, potentially deadly, lightning accompanies thunderstorms.

Statistically July is the month with the most lightning fatalities. The reason being – the combination of monsoon thunderstorms and outside activities can be deadly when lightning is involved.

According to the National Weather Service, no place outside is safe when thunderstorms are in the area. If you hear thunder, lightning is close enough to strike you. If you are caught outside with no safe shelter anywhere nearby, you may be able to reduce your risk by getting off elevated areas. Do not shelter under an isolated tree or cliff or a rocky overhang. A large forested area is better to hide in than underneath a single tree.  If you are on the water in a boat, try to get to land, but if you can only make it to a hilly area with little cover you may be safer on the water than taking the risk to get to another unsafe area.

  • Get out and away from bodies of water.
  • Stay low but do not lie flat on the ground.
  • Stay away from objects that conduct electricity.
  • A metal topped vehicle with windows up can be a safe shelter.
Your chance of being struck by lightning is better than winning the Powerball!

Women have had far more success avoiding lightning strikes. The annual deaths for women from lightning have rarely exceeded 20 and have never reached the levels of male deaths. Four times as many men are struck and killed by lightning as are women. In every year since 1968, lighting has consistently killed many more American men than women.

A recent study by NOAA’s National Weather Service might have an explanation for the greater number of men lightning deaths than women. Many of the top leisure activities that expose people to lightning strikes feature mostly male participants; including fishing, camping, boating, soccer and golf. Fishing was the top culprit, causing 26 deaths.

Safety Tips to Avoid Lighting

If you are outdoors and hear thunder you should seek shelter immediately, says the NOAA. After lightning is spotted in the area, people are advised to stay indoors for at least 30 minutes.

When thunder roars, go indoors! If you can see it, flee it; if you can hear it, clear it.

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Page, Page Municipal Airport, AZ

Last Updated on Jun 26 2022, 7:53 am MST

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