Summer is the season for picnics on the beach, sleeping under the stars and diving into your favorite pool of blue water. Ominous black clouds on the horizon are a reminder that this time of year can also be dangerous. Severe weather and thunderstorms not only spoil the barbecue, they can damage homes and property, close businesses and even cost lives.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reports that about 16 million thunderstorms occur each year. Lightning and flashfloods pose the biggest threat.
As beautiful as it is dangerous, a lightning bolt can register temperatures hotter than the sun’s surface. Each strike can contain up to, a whopping, one billion volts of electricity. An estimated 2,000 people die each year as a result of being struck by lightning.
Not surprisingly, the southern United States is prime thunderstorm territory. With a constant supply of warm humid air from the gulf, Florida is the nation’s stormy weather capital. Data from the World Meteorological Foundation indicates that Ft. Myers is the city where lightning strikes most frequently, followed by Tampa and Tallahassee. Lake Charles, Louisiana, and Mobile, Alabama, are not far behind. Interestingly, the central and southern Rockies and central Alaska are also areas where storms occur frequently. Afternoon and evening storms are a regular occurrence during summer in the mountains. Along the dry Pacific Coast line, thunderstorms are relatively rare.
A severe weather tracker can be a good investment for anyone whose hobbies or business is threatened by lightning. Real time weather tracker software provides up-to-the-minute meteorological information and advanced warning about the presence of severe storms. Knowing real time lightning strikes gives business owners, school systems and recreational facilities the opportunity to guide people to shelter and to protect sensitive equipment and merchandise.
Being aware of the damage a storm can cause and having an action plan prepared in advance is a smart way to stay safe during the summer.