Lightning Awareness Week
Lightning awareness week runs through this Friday. Since 2006 NOAA's National Weather Service has studied lightning deaths and found that 64% of the fatalities were involved in leisure activities. The number one group is not golf but rather fishing. Out of 238 deaths from lightning since 2006, of the 152 (64%) were engaged in leisure activities; twenty six were struck and killed when fishing. Camping deaths were next with fifteen followed by boating with fourteen. Twelve were killed when playing soccer and eight were playing golf. The remaining 77 fatalities were running, swimming, walking, picnicking, riding recreational vehicles or just in their backyards.
Since 2001 deaths on the golf course from lightning have decreased 75 percent in part as a result of a lightning safety campaign. Before 2001 an average of 77 people were killed by lightning and now the average has dropped to 37.
Frequent or dangerous lighting is not part of the severe thunderstorm criteria. Stay safe. When you hear thunder you can be struck by lightning. It doesn't have to be raining in fact it can be sunny.