National Lightning Safety Awareness Week: Expect increased lightning locally


By Casey Crow
Staff Writer

June 21-27 is National Lightning Safety Awareness Week, and the National Weather Service (NWS) offices in Colorado will be promoting lightning safety with daily messages from a unique Colorado perspective.

Each year, more than 400 people are struck by lightning in the United States, hundreds who are struck suffer permanent neurological disabilities and some strikes are fatal.

Before the installation of Lightning Safety Awareness campaigns beginning in 2001, an average of 73 lightning-related deaths were reported in the United States annually. In the last five years, the U.S. has seen significant improvement, reducing the number of deaths to an average of 26 per year.

Despite this improvement, Colorado has the third-highest rate of lightning fatalities of any state since the year 2005. The National Weather Service hopes to reduce the number of fatalities by raising awareness on lightning safety.

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