Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Denver/Boulder, CO

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PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE PUEBLO CO
600 AM MDT MON JUN 22 2015

COLORADO LIGHTNING SAFETY WEEK CONTINUES THROUGH SATURDAY. TODAY WE
DISCUSS THE LIGHTNING THREAT ACROSS THE CENTENNIAL STATE.

IN THE UNITED STATES...THERE ARE AN ESTIMATED 25 MILLION CLOUD-TO-
GROUND LIGHTNING FLASHES PER YEAR...AND EACH ONE IS A POTENTIAL
THREAT TO LIFE AND PROPERTY.  THE 30-YEAR AVERAGE OF HUMAN LIGHTNING
FATALITIES IS 49. THE AVERAGE NUMBER OF PEOPLE KILLED DURING THE
LAST 10 YEARS IS 32. LAST YEAR...26 PEOPLE WERE KILLED BY
LIGHTNING...WHILE MANY OTHERS WERE PERMANENTLY INJURED.

STATISTICALLY...THOSE WHO WERE KILLED IN 2014...

100 PERCENT WERE OUTDOORS.
81 PERCENT WERE MALE.
23 PERCENT WERE UNDER A TREE.
23 PERCENT OCCURRED ON OR NEAR THE WATER.

IN COLORADO...LIGHTNING KILLED 2 PEOPLE LAST YEAR...AND INJURED 14.
DURING THE PAST 35 YEARS...ON AVERAGE...COLORADO HAS HAD 3 LIGHTNING
FATALITIES AND 13 INJURIES. SINCE 1980...EL PASO COUNTY...INCLUDING
THE COLORADO SPRINGS METRO AREA...HAS HAD THE DUBIOUS DISTINCTION OF
HAVING THE MOST LIGHTNING CASUALTIES...WITH 10 FATALITIES AND 76
INJURIES. LARIMER COUNTY HAS HAD 9 FATALITIES AND 74 INJURIES...AND
JEFFERSON COUNTY HAS HAD 8 FATALITIES AND 37 INJURIES.

BECAUSE IT USUALLY AFFECTS ONE OR TWO VICTIMS AT A TIME...AND DOES
NOT CAUSE THE DESTRUCTION LEFT IN THE WAKE OF TORNADOES OR
HURRICANES...LIGHTNING GENERALLY RECEIVES LESS ATTENTION.

MANY PEOPLE DO NOT ACT IN A TIMELY MANNER TO PROTECT THEIR
LIVES...AND THE LIVES OF OTHERS...SIMPLY BECAUSE THEY DO NOT
UNDERSTAND ALL THE DANGERS ASSOCIATED WITH THUNDERSTORMS AND
LIGHTNING.

YOU NEED TO BECOME AWARE OF THE SITUATIONS THAT PUT YOU
AT A GREATER RISK OF BEING STRUCK BY LIGHTNING...AND WHAT YOU CAN DO
TO REDUCE THAT RISK. WHILE NEARLY ALL PEOPLE TAKE SOME PROTECTIVE
ACTIONS WHEN RAIN...HAIL AND WIND ARE OCCURRING WITH
THUNDERSTORMS...MANY LEAVE THEMSELVES VULNERABLE TO BEING STRUCK BY
LIGHTNING AS THUNDERSTORMS APPROACH...MOVE OVERHEAD AND MOVE AWAY.

LIGHTNING CAN STRIKE MORE THAN 10 MILES FROM THE RAIN AREA OF A
THUNDERSTORM.  THAT DISTANCE IS ABOUT AS FAR AS YOU CAN HEAR
THUNDER.  IF YOU CAN HEAR THUNDER...YOU COULD BE IN DANGER OF BEING
STRUCK BY LIGHTNING. WHEN THUNDER ROARS...GO INDOORS.

MOST LIGHTNING DEATHS AND INJURIES IN COLORADO OCCUR DURING THE
AFTERNOON...WHEN LIGHTNING IS MOST LIKELY TO OCCUR AND WHEN PEOPLE
ARE MORE LIKELY TO BE OUTSIDE. QUITE A FEW LIGHTNING FATALITIES HAVE
OCCURRED WHEN LITTLE OR NO RAIN WAS FALLING.

THE CHANCE THAT YOU WILL BE STRUCK BY LIGHTNING IN THE UNITED STATES
IS ABOUT 1 IN 960 THOUSAND FOR EACH YEAR OF YOUR LIFE.
HOWEVER...YOUR CHANCE OF BEING STRUCK WILL DEPEND ON WHETHER YOU
CONSISTENTLY PRACTICE ALL THE LIGHTNING SAFETY RULES.

LIGHTNING STARTS AROUND HALF OF THE FOREST AND RANGELAND WILDFIRES
ACROSS THE STATE.  COLORADO AVERAGES AROUND 2500 WILDFIRES EACH
YEAR.  MANY OF THESE LIGHTNING CAUSED FIRES OCCUR WITH VERY LITTLE
OR NO RAIN.  THESE STORMS OFTEN GENERATE GUSTY WINDS...WHICH CAN FAN
THE FLAMES OF THE FIRE.

DURING THIS LIGHTNING SAFETY AWARENESS WEEK, THE NATIONAL WEATHER
SERVICE WILL PROVIDE A VARIETY OF INFORMATION ON LIGHTNING IN
COLORADO.

ON TUESDAY...THE SCIENCE OF LIGHTNING WILL BE DISCUSSED.

ON WEDNESDAY...THE TOPIC OF THE DAY IS OUTDOOR LIGHTNING RISK REDUCTION.

ON THURSDAY...WE WILL HAVE INFORMATION ON INDOOR LIGHTNING SAFETY.

ON FRIDAY...INFORMATION FOR LIGHTNING STRIKE SURVIVORS WILL BE PROVIDED.

ON SATURDAY...LIGHTNING AND WILDFIRE INFORMATION WILL BE AVAILABLE.

WHEN PLANNING OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES...CHECK OUT THE HAZARDOUS WEATHER
OUTLOOK AND THE LATEST FORECAST...WHICH INCLUDE THUNDERSTORM AND
LIGHTNING POTENTIAL.  MAKE SURE YOU GET THE SPECIFIC FORECAST
INFORMATION OF THE LOCATION YOU WILL BE VISITING. THE WEB SITES FOR
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE OFFICES WHICH COVER COLORADO AND ISSUE
THESE PRODUCTS ARE...

DENVER/BOULDER   WEATHER.GOV/DEN
GRAND JUNCTION   WEATHER.GOV/GJT
PUEBLO           WEATHER.GOV/PUB
GOODLAND         WEATHER.GOV/GLD

NOAAS LIGHTNING WEBSITE WHICH CONTAINS ABUNDANT INFORMATION ON
LIGHTNING SAFETY CAN BE FOUND AT...

LIGHTNINGSAFETY.NOAA.GOV

LIGHTNING INFORMATION SPECIFIC FOR THE STATE OF COLORADO CAN BE FOUND AT...

WEATHER.GOV/PUB/LIGHTNING

THE LIGHTNING TOPIC FOR TOMORROW WILL BE THE SCIENCE OF LIGHTNING.


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