Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Portland, ME

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MEZ007>009-012>014-018>028-NHZ001>010-013-014-241200

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE GRAY ME
0745 AM EDT MON JUN 23 2014


THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HAS DECLARED THE WEEK OF JUNE
22ND THROUGH 28TH, LIGHTNING SAFETY AWARENESS WEEK.  THIS IS
THE FIRST IN A SERIES OF FIVE PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENTS TO
BE ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE OFFICE IN GRAY, ME
CONTAINING INFORMATION ON LIGHTNING AND LIGHTNING SAFETY.

LIGHTNING AND LIGHTNING SAFETY--AN INTRODUCTION

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 OF THOSE 25 MILLION
FLASHES IS A POTENTIAL KILLER.  BASED ON DATA FOR THE LAST 30
YEARS (1984 TO 2013), LIGHTNING HAS KILLED MORE THAN 1500
PEOPLE IN THE UNITED STATES, AN AVERAGE OF 51 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 4 DEATHS, MAKING IT THE 6TH 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 WEB SITE AT:

     HTTP://WWW.LIGHTNINGSAFETY.NOAA.GOV
$$

JENSENIUS
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE
GRAY...MAINE
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