• Special Weather Statement

    This week is Lightning Safety Awareness Week in Pennsylvania. Today's topic: Lightning Safety Introduction. In the United States, there are between 20 and 25 million cloud to ground lightning flashes each year. While lightning can be fascinating to watch, it also is extremely dangerous. Each one of those 25 million flashes is a potential killer. Based on data for the least 15 years, lightning has killed more than 400 people in the United States, an average of 29 people per year based on documented cases. In addition, during this same period, lightning has injured an estimated 15000 people, some left with life-long neurological damage. In addition to the deaths and injuries, lightning causes considerable damage across the nation. Each year, lightning is the cause of about 25000 fires. Those fires are responsible for an additional estimated 12 deaths per year. All totaled, lightning causes nearly 1 billion dollars in damages each year. During the next several days, we will provide additional information on lightning and lightning safety. We will cover what you can do to protect yourself from this dangerous killer. Most importantly, we want you to remember that there is no safe place outside during a thunderstorm. WHEN THUNDER ROARS, GO INDOORS! Lightning fact for today: The best protection from lightning is a substantial building. If you can not get inside a substantial building, a hard topped metal vehicle will protect you from lightning. If the vehicle is struck, the lightning will follow the outer metal shell of the vehicle to the ground. It is important to make sure that you are fully inside the vehicle with the windows rolled up. Note that the rubber tires do not prevent the vehicle from being struck, nor do they provide any protection. Topics we will cover through this week: Tuesday, Lightning's Most Deadly Activities. Wednesday, Lightning Safety at Work. Thursday, Lightning Safety and Sports Activities. Friday, Lightning Safety Around the Home. For additional information about lightning and lightning safety, visit the NOAA lightning safety awareness web site at weather.gov/safety/lightningMore

Weather Team