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PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MELBOURNE FL
600 AM EDT MON JUN 21 2010

...JUNE 20ST-26TH IS LIGHTNING SAFETY AWARENESS WEEK...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HAS DECLARED JUNE 20ST THROUGH JUNE
26TH AS LIGHTNING SAFETY AWARENESS WEEK.  THIS WEEK, THE NATIONAL
WEATHER SERVICE FORECAST OFFICE IN MELBOURNE WILL BE ISSUING
INFORMATION STATEMENTS ABOUT LIGHTNING.

-TODAY.........LIGHTNING OVERVIEW
-
TUESDAY.......LIGHTNING MECHANICS
-
WEDNESDAY.....LIGHTNING SAFETY OUTDOORS
-THURSDAY......LIGHTNING SAFETY INDOORS
-FRIDAY........MEDICAL ASPECTS OF LIGHTNING


...OVERVIEW...

ON AVERAGE, LIGHTNING KILLS MORE PEOPLE IN THE UNITED STATES EACH
YEAR THAN HURRICANES AND TORNADOES COMBINED.  NATIONWIDE, IT IS THE
SECOND MOST DEADLY WEATHER PHENOMENON, SECOND ONLY TO FLASH FLOODS.
IN FLORIDA, IT IS THE FIRST.  HOWEVER, DESPITE BEING THE NATION'S
MOST ACTIVE LIGHTNING REGION, THE THREAT POSED BY LIGHTNING IS
LARGELY UNDER APPRECIATED BY MOST PEOPLE.  ONE MAJOR REASON IS THAT
LIGHTNING USUALLY DOES NOT KILL IN LARGE NUMBERS BUT RATHER ONE OR
TWO AT A TIME. 

IN THE UNITED STATES, LIGHTNING STRIKES THE GROUND AN ESTIMATED 25
MILLION TIMES EACH YEAR.  THE AVERAGE BOLT CARRIES ABOUT 20 THOUSAND
AMPS OF ELECTRIC CURRENT, 100 MILLION VOLTS OF ELECTRIC POTENTIAL,
AND CAN REACH A TEMPERATURE ON THE ORDER OF 50 THOUSAND DEGREES
FAHRENHEIT. TUESDAY'S DISCUSSION WILL CENTER AROUND HOW LIGHTNING
FORMS AND WHERE IT STRIKES.

LIGHTNING IS THE LEADING WEATHER HAZARD IN FLORIDA. OVER THE PAST
TEN YEARS, LIGHTNING HAS KILLED 70 PEOPLE IN THE STATE OF FLORIDA
AND INJURED ANOTHER 400.  MOST OF THESE CASUALTIES COULD HAVE BEEN
AVOIDED USING BASIC SAFETY MEASURES.  WEDNESDAY'S AND THURSDAY'S
DISCUSSION WILL FOCUS ON LIGHTNING SAFETY...WHAT TO DO AND EQUALLY
IMPORTANT, WHAT NOT TO DO, SHOULD LIGHTNING THREATEN YOUR AREA.

LIGHTNING IS A SERIOUS THREAT TO PEOPLE IN EAST CENTRAL FLORIDA,
ESPECIALLY DURING THE SUMMER MONTHS.  USING BASIC COMMON SENSE, MOST
MOST LIGHTNING DEATHS AND INJURIES CAN BE AVOIDED.  FRIDAY’S
DISCUSSION WILL FOCUS ON THE MEDICAL ASPECTS OF LIGHTNING.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT LIGHTNING AND LIGHTNING SAFETY...VISIT
THE LIGHTNING INFORMATION CENTER AT WEBSITE OF THE NATIONAL WEATHER
SERVICE IN MELBOURNE: 
http://www.srh.noaa.gov/mlb/?n=lightning

OR VISIT NOAA'S LIGHTNING SAFETY WEBPAGE AT: 
http://www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov

THE NATIONAL LIGHTNING SAFETY PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT IS AVAILABLE HERE:

http://www.weather.gov/os/notification/pns10lightning_week.txt

$$


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