Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Caribou, ME

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NOUS41 KCAR 200911

511 AM EDT MON JUN 20 2016


The National Weather Service has declared the week of June 20th
through 24th, LIGHTNING SAFETY AWARENESS WEEK in Maine.  This is the
first in a series of five public information statements to be
issued by the National Weather Service Office in Caribou, ME
containing information on lightning and lightning safety.


In the United States, there are between 20 and 25 million
cloud-to-ground lightning flashes each year. Maine averages about
60,000 flashes while New Hampshire has about 30,000 flashes. While
lightning can be fascinating to watch, it is also extremely
dangerous. Each one those 25 million flashes is a potential
lightning killer. Based on data for the last 30 years (1986 to
2015), lightning has killed almost more than 1400 people in the
United States, an average of 48 people per year based on
documented cases. In addition, during this same period, lightning
has injured an estimated 15,000 people, some left with life-long
neurological damage. In the last 10 years, Maine has seen 3
deaths, making it the 10th highest in the nation per capita.
During this same period, New Hampshire has not had a fatal
lightning incident.

In addition to the deaths and injuries, lightning causes
considerable damage across the nation. Each year, lightning is the
cause of about 25,000 fires, including about 4400 house fires,
1800 other structural fires, and numerous forest fires. Those
fires are responsible for an additional estimated 12 deaths per
year. All totaled, lightning causes nearly $1 billion in damages
each year.

During the next several days, we`ll provide additional information
on lightning and lightning safety. We`ll 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`t 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`s important to make sure that you`re 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.

Here`s a list of topics we`ll cover later this week:

TUESDAY - Lightning`s Most Deadly Activities
WEDNESDAY - Lightning Safety and Sports Activities
THURSDAY - Lightning Safety at Work
FRIDAY - Lightning Safety Around the Home

For additional information about lightning or lightning safety, visit
NOAA`s Lightning Safety Awareness site at:


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