Service highlights lightning dangers

Environment Canada’s meteorological service has improved its ability to track lightning and display high risk lightning areas.

During the summer in Canada, lightning strikes every three seconds.

Besides causing power outages and forest fires, lightning strikes can also seriously injure or kill.

Through recent advances in detection technology, Environment Canada’s meteorological service has improved its ability to track lightning and display high risk lightning areas.

The new Canadian Lightning Danger Map can be found at http://weather.gc.ca/lightning/index_e.html.

These maps are updated at an interval of 10 minutes and are based on recent lightning observations.

A new video on how to use the map can be found at www.ec.gc.ca/foudre-lightning.

The video helps users understand how to use the new lightning danger map and stay safe.

Most importantly, if the map indicates a person is in a danger area, or if they hear thunder, they should go to a safe location, either a building with plumbing and wiring or an all metal vehicle.

Stay there for 30 minutes following the last rumble of thunder.

Research in North America shows that one third of lightning injuries and fatalities occur in the early stages of a storm, one third at the peak of a storm and one third once the peak of the storm has passed by.

Environment Canada issues severe thunderstorm watches and warnings when severe weather such as large hail, strong winds, heavy downpours, or even tornadoes are possible.