14th Symp on Education


Lightning casualties and their proximity to surrounding cloud-to-ground lightning

Megan M. Lengyel, University of Oklahoma School of Meteorology, Norman, OK; and H. E. Brooks, R. E. Holle, and M. A. Cooper, MD

Lightning fatality data has been logged continuously by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in the publication Storm Data and by the Public Health Service through the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). A recent noticeable drop in lightning deaths has led to questions about the potential to further decrease lightning casualties through education or through other forms of early lightning detection. To determine how many lives might still be saved through education, the cloud-to-ground (CG) lightning flashes surrounding lightning casualties were carefully analyzed to categorize their injury as occurring within two different scenarios: those who were struck with little or no warning of impending lightning danger, and those who used poor judgment by not following what was suggested by NOAA’s lightning safety guidelines. The National Lightning Detection Network (NLDN) lightning data and Storm Data storm reports during the years 1995 – 2002 were used to examine the CG lightning flashes surrounding each casualty before and after they were injured or killed. It was found that over half of the individual lightning casualty cases had little or no warning of the threat of CG lightning near their location surrounding the time of their injury or death.

extended abstract  Extended Abstract (1.4M)

Poster Session 1, Education and Outreach Initiatives
Sunday, 9 January 2005, 5:00 PM-5:00 PM

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