Public Information Statement
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NOUS41 KBOX 201343

Public Information Statement
National Weather Service Taunton MA
943 AM EDT Tue Jun 20 2017


The following information is from a study completed by
John Jensenius from the National Weather Service in Gray, Maine.

June, July, and August are the peak months for lightning activity
across the United States and the peak months for outdoor summer
activities.  As a result, during the period from 2006 to 2016,
more than 70 percent of the lightning deaths occurred during
these three months, with Saturdays and Sundays having slightly
more deaths than other days of the week.

From 2006 through 2016, 352 people were struck and killed by
lightning in the United States. Almost two thirds of the deaths
occurred to people who had been enjoying outdoor leisure
activities. The common belief that golfers are responsible for
the greatest number of lightning deaths was shown to be a myth.
During this 11-year period, fishermen accounted for more than
three times as many fatalities as golfers, while beach
activities and camping accounted for at least twice as many
deaths as golf. From 2006 to 2016, there were a total of
33 fishing deaths, 20 beach deaths, 18 camping deaths, and
16 boating deaths. Of the sports activities, soccer saw the
greatest number of deaths with 12, as compared to golf with 9.
Around the home, yard work (including mowing the lawn)
accounted for 14 fatalities.  For work-related activities,
ranching/farming topped the list with 17 deaths.

In 2017 so far, there has been only 1 fatality.
On May 17, 2017, a 37 year old Colorado woman was struck and
killed by lightning while she was riding a horse in an open
field near a tree.

Based on media reports of the fatal incidents, many victims
are often headed to safety at the time of the fatal strike or
were just steps away from safety. Continued efforts are needed
to convince people to get inside a safe place before the
lightning threat becomes significant. For many activities,
situational awareness and proper planning are essential to

In many cases, you can prevent being struck by following basic
lightning safety rules. If you can hear thunder, you are close
enough to be struck. The only safe place is inside a sturdy
building. Stay away from trees, fences, and hilltops. If there
is no building, then try to get inside a hard-topped
automobile, but not an unprotected motorcycle. If on the
water, get to shore when billowing clouds are seen in the
distance, the storms can arrive quickly.

Remember these rules:
When thunder roars, go indoors.
If you can hear it, fear it.
If you can see it, flee it.

For additional information about lightning or lightning safety,
visit the NOAA lightning safety awareness Web site at


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