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Severe Weather Awareness Week: Monday- Lightning safety

Severe Weather Awareness Week: Monday-Lightning
Lightning fatalities in Florida and Georgia from 2011-2020
Lightning safety tip: stay away from open fields or trees
Lightning safety tip: stay away from water and metal objects
Posted at 5:38 AM, Feb 05, 2024

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — This week, February 5th-February 9th, marks Severe Weather Awareness Week in Florida and Georgia.

Monday's severe weather awareness topic is lightning, a weather phenomenon that frequently impacts both states.

Just to give you an idea of how deadly lightning is for our states, Florida had 49 lighting related deaths from 2011-2020 while we had 7 in Georgia.

Both states rank in the top 15 for lightning fatalities.

According to NOAA, Florida ranks the highest for amount of lightning strikes each year.

In 2021, data showed 223 lightning events per square mile. Fourteen million lightning strikes were in-cloud or cloud-to-ground.

Florida's location and outdoor activities has to do with both the amount of lighting strikes and the amount of injuries or deaths we see from thunderstorms.

Summer-time is a time when many are at the beach enjoying warmer weather. Large masses of people in an area with a good conductor (oceans/lakes) means a higher risk of injury or death with one strike.

Indirect strikes are also possible with lightning. Lightning can travel up to 60 feet away from the strike location.
Did you know: wearing rubber shoes or rubber tires do not prevent lightning damage or injury?

When lightning strikes, it can reach temperatures that are hotter than the sun! Over 50,000-degrees Fahrenheit!

As the saying goes, if thunder roars, head indoors! It may save you from injury this upcoming season!