Lightning safety highlighted nationally this week

Monroe Randolph County Line near Madison. Caught the lightening while taking a picture of the rainbow.

This week is National Lightning Safety Week according to the National Weather Service.

A major reason for deaths occurring from thunderstorms is lightning. The National Weather Service has chosen this week to remind people of the importance of staying safe during thunderstorms.

"This is the week the NWS promotes the idea of when you hear thunder roar go indoors," Tim Gross a Meteorologist with NWS office in Davenport, IA said.

Meteorologist Gross adds that we have already seen a lot of lightning-caused deaths in the USA in 2013. To date there have been seven deaths nationally attributed to lightning.

The most prone state for lightning development is Florida. The reason is large amounts of heat and moisture coming together in the perfect atmospheric recipe for the generation of thunderstorms.

Last year there were 28 deaths nationally due to lightning strikes.

"Any storm has the potential of being deadly," notes Meteorologist Gross. The storm does not have to be severe to be deadly. As long as lightning takes place, even if no rain occurs, it can still be a deadly situation.

So the NWS, knowing full well how deadly a phenomenon lightning can be, has designated this week to get their message out to the public.

Gross reminds everyone to "Wait 30 minutes from the last clap of thunder before going back outdoors," after a storm has occurred. You want to be very certain you are out of harm's way and that you have allowed the storm to pass safely.

For more information regarding lightning safety, visit the following page at the NWS at