Last year, in Canada there were over a dozen lightning strike victims. Many of those injuries could have been avoided. Do you know when to take action and what to do?
We now know that over two-thirds of all damaging lightning strikes happen when the storm is either approaching or has just passed by rather than when it is directly overhead. Also the majority of injuries and fatalities are not caused by a direct lightning strike but rather by ground current or side flash events.
The Canadian Lightning Danger Map for the prairie region shows high-risk lightning areas in red, with animation showing the movement of the storms. The map is updated every 10 minutes based on current lightning observations.
When planning outdoor activities this summer, it is important to listen to weather forecasts, weather alerts, and to keep an eye on the sky in case weather conditions change. If you realize you are in a lightning danger area, either because you hear thunder or see red on the Canadian Lightning Danger Map, take shelter immediately, preferably in a house or an all-metal vehicle (not a convertible). DO NOT shelter under a tree; lightning tends to strike taller objects.
There is no safe place outdoors during a thunderstorm. When thunder roars, GO INDOORS!
The Canadian Lightning Danger Map can be found at weather.gc.ca by clicking on ‘Alerts’ and then the region you are interested in under Lightning Danger. The map is accessible on mobile devices.