MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Governor Robert Bentley has declared the third week in February as Severe Weather Awareness Week in Alabama. The goal is to provide the public with information about different types of severe weather and give safety tips along the way to help the citizens of our state be better prepared.
On Tuesday, February 16th the topic being highlighted is lightning. Lightning is a big deal for the residents of Alabama. Last year in 2015, our state was ranked 2nd in the number of lightning deaths. Annually, an average of 33 people are killed nationwide due to lightning related injuries. Most lightning injuries or deaths occurred when the person involved was caught outdoors in the summer months.
A thunderstorm does not have to be right next to you for lightning to be a concern; actually, lightning can strike as far as 10 miles away from its parent storm. Meteorologist suggest that when outside and a storm approaches you remember the saying "when thunder roars, go indoors!". After taking shelter, just remember the 30 minute rule: If in that given amount of time you do not hear anymore thunder, then it is safe to return outdoors.
Make sure you stay ahead of the storm! We urge you to use multiple sources of weather information to alert you and your family when severe weather threatens.
Download the WSFA First Alert weather app to your Android or iPhone, or download the WSFA 12 News app (containing weather information) to your Android, iPhone, iPad or Blackberry. With the app you can get a notifications sent straight to your device when lightning is detected within 5 miles of your location.