“Summertime, and the livin′ is easy,” so the George Gershwin song goes. True, it is a time for picnics in the park, dips in the pool, golf outings, and hikes in the mountains.
But summer weather isn’t all fun in the sun.
Violent summer storms can form quickly and stretch for hundreds of miles. Thunderstorms can produce deadly lightning capable of striking up to 10 miles away — so, even if you don't see rain you could be in harm’s way.
“When planning outdoor activities, we want you to remember that lightning is extremely dangerous,” says John Jensenius, National Weather Service lightning safety expert. “Lightning can kill — and even those who survive a lightning strike are often left with permanent and serious disabilities. The best advice is ‘when thunder roars, go indoors’.”
Don’t be fooled by blue skies. If you hear thunder, lightning is close enough to pose an immediate threat. Each year in the United States, more than 400 people are struck by lightning. While it’s true a small percentage of lightning strike victims die, many more survivors are left with serious lifelong pain and neurological disabilities.
To avoid being struck by lightning, NOAA’s National Weather Service recommends that you:
The National Weather Service tracks when and where lightning fatalities occur in order to understand who is at greatest risk and where to focus safety and education efforts.
To help you learn how to recognize and avoid the dangers of lightning, NOAA’s National Weather Service proudly sponsors Lightning Safety Awareness Week (June 21–27).
The National Weather Service is providing a variety of educational resources to help protect you and your loved ones, including:
Lightning is a serious danger. Keep your summer safe and full of easy living by learning more at NOAA’s Lightning Safety Web site.