Hurrican Shutters

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Florida Hazardous Weather Awareness Week – Monday February 11 2013 is lightning awareness day!

Posted by cat5shuttersllc on February 11, 2013

Florida Hazardous Weather Awareness Week - Monday February 11 2013 is lightning awareness day!Lightning is one of nature’s deadliest and most unpredictable
phenomena, but also one that is virtually a daily occurrence in
South Florida during the rainy season. Although meteorologists can
detect the location of thunderstorms and forecast their general
movement, it is virtually impossible to predict exactly where the
next lightning Bolt may strike. This fact makes lightning one of
nature’s biggest killers.

One lightning death was reported in South Florida in 2012. A
fisherman was struck and killed during a fishing tournament on Lake
Okeechobee in June. An additional four people were injured as a
result of lightning strikes. These numbers are lower than the
long-term South Florida averages of 2 deaths and 9 injuries per
year. Nationwide, 28 people were killed by lightning in 2012 which
is lower than the 30-year average of 54 per year.

This downward trend in lightning casualties is certainly good news
and largely a result of increased community educational and
awareness efforts. Thunderstorms and potentially-deadly lightning
are a normal part of south Florida’s weather; therefore the
successful preventive measures need to continue in order to prevent
future incidents.

Don’t just look straight up

A dangerous misperception about lightning is that it only strikes
when dark clouds are directly overhead. Several cases in the past
few years have proven this to be false. Lightning commonly strikes
several miles away from the heavy rain area of the thunderstorm, and
in some cases can strike up to 10 miles away or more! This type of
lightning is misleadingly referred to as “dry lightning” or “bolts
from the blue”, but they actually originate from the side of a
thunderstorm cloud and are just as deadly as those that occur in the
middle of a heavy downpour. Therefore, the greatest danger often
comes with the first or last flash because that’s when people least
expect lightning to strike.

Here’s a simple lightning safety tip that can save your life: when
you see lightning or hear Thunder, Head to the nearest safe
building. The inside of a vehicle can also be used as a place of
shelter only if there are no buildings nearby. Darkening clouds are
usually the first sign that lightning may strike nearby.

Recent studies have shown that teenage boys are the most likely
group to be killed by lightning in Florida. The age group from 10 to
19 years of age has the greatest number of deaths, followed by those
in their 30s and 20s. The number of 10 to 19 year old lightning
deaths is greater than the number of lightning deaths of those 40
and older.

Although the National Weather Service does not issue specific
lightning warnings, products such as the hazardous weather outlook
and the surf forecast describe the daily lightning danger in South
Florida on a scale ranging from none, to slight, to moderate to
high. When a storm producing excessive lightning is observed or is
imminent, a Special Weather Statement/significant weather advisory
is issued to alert of its location. Checking these products before
venturing outside can make the difference between life and death.

Remember, any thunderstorm can produce a lightning flash which can
kill you and those nearby.

Some locations are more dangerous than others. The greatest numbers
of people in Florida are struck while near or on a body of water.
Many others are struck while standing under trees. Another
vulnerable location is an open area with few trees such as a
construction site, Ball fields, playgrounds or Golf courses. School
related activities also rate high in lightning vulnerability. These
include walking to and from school and after school events.

The large number of high rise buildings in South Florida also puts
construction workers and even residents in upper floors at a greater
risk since tall objects are struck by lightning much more frequently
than objects close to the ground.

No place outdoors is safe from lightning. Even the inside of an
automobile, while safer than being outside, is not as safe as being
inside an enclosed building. If planning to be outdoors, stay
informed of the latest weather conditions by listening to NOAA
Weather Radio or by monitoring the latest forecasts via TV, radio,
cell phone or the internet. Be prepared to take shelter inside an
enclosed building if a thunderstorm approaches or forms nearby.

For further lightning information, as well as daily hazardous
weather outlooks which indicate the threat of lightning over South
Florida, as well as special weather statements, please visit the
National Weather Service in Miami website at

For general lightning safety tips as well as educational material,
please visit the National Weather Service lightning safety Page at

Distributed by Viestly

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