Be weather wise when thunder rolls and lightning strikes the sky!
June 20, 2019 – Ottawa, Ontario
Summer is almost here, and with summer comes a greater threat of lightning exposure. Every year in Canada, lightning causes a large number of injuries and sometimes even death. Over the course of next week’s Lightning Safety Week (from June 24 to 30) and the remainder of summer, Environment and Climate Change Canada will provide a series of helpful lightning safety tips on their social media channels, website, and other channels, as a means of ensuring Canadians and their families have a summer that is both fun and safe.
Lightning awareness is particularly important for outdoor seasonal workers and those engaged in outdoor activities, such as sporting activities, camping, and boating. Lightning is an occupational hazard, and those who work and play outdoors are vulnerable to lightning strikes. Many thunderstorms develop in the afternoon, between 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. By scheduling work or any other outdoor activities in the morning or later in the evening, most lightning hazards can be avoided.
Dark clouds and increasing wind speeds indicate an approaching storm. When you hear thunder, lightning is within striking distance, and it is time to seek shelter immediately in an enclosed building or hard-topped vehicle (not a convertible top). In the vast majority of cases, you will see lightning or hear thunder in advance, giving you enough time to get to a safe location. Keep in mind that the sound of thunder can be blocked by mountainous terrain and large buildings or masked by environmental noise such as airplanes, traffic, and lawnmowers. Lastly, remember to wait a full 30 minutes after the last roll of thunder before going back outside.
The Canadian Lightning Danger Map is one way to track thunderstorms. The map displays high-risk lightning areas in red, with animation showing the movement of storms. These maps are updated every 10 minutes and are based on recent lightning observations.
As we head into Lightning Safety Week, we invite you to contact your local warning preparedness meteorologist to find out more on lightning in Canada and get informed on how Canadians can better prepare in the event of lightning threats.
Remember: When thunder roars, go indoors!
Weather Media Services – warning preparedness meteorologists (for media only)
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