Ozarks Weather Observer Logo
Volume XIV - Number 3
Editor: Brian Barjenbruch  Web Editor: Steven Lindenberg
June 2009
Ozark Weather Observer - Table of Contents
 
 
 
 

Summer Weather Safety Week - June 22-28th
by Steve Runnels

As we leave the spring tornado season behind, and severe thunderstorms diminish with the approach of summer, a different set of weather threats rule the Ozarks. Lightning and flooding threats increase during the summer months, and the overall number one weather killer…dangerous summer heat…begins!
The National Weather Service, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, and the State Emergency Management Agency have joined together to promote Missouri Summer Weather Safety Week from June 21 – 27, 2009. This coincides with the National Lightning Safety Awareness Week. Please join the NWS and our partners by sharing the following information, as well as the information found at www.lightning.safety.noaa.gov.

Lightning: When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors!
While lightning fails to gain the headlines of tornadoes, it is statistically more deadly. Over the last 30 years, an average of 62 Americans annually lose their life to lightning. In 2008, 28 people died across the United States due to lightning strikes and hundreds of others were permanently injured. Of the victims who were killed by lightning in 2008:
* 100% were outdoors
* 79% were male
* 32% were under a tree
* 29% were on or near the water

The reported number of injuries is likely far lower than the actual total number because many people do not seek help or doctors do not record it as a lightning injury. People struck by lightning suffer from a variety of long-term, debilitating symptoms, including memory loss, attention deficits, sleep disorders, numbness, dizziness, stiffness in joints, irritability, fatigue, weakness, muscle spasms, depression, and an inability to sit for long.
If you see someone hit by lightning, call for help immediately. Check to see if they are breathing and start CPR if necessary.

Summer Heat Safety:

Heat alone is bad, but conditions dramatically become worse when combined with high humidity. The NWS utilizes the heat index to inform people of dangerous conditions created by the combination of heat and humidity.
As the heat index climbs above 100, heat cramps or heat exhaustion is possible with prolonged outdoor exposure. These conditions become likely as the heat index climbs above 105. For your protection:
* Drink plenty of water or non-alcoholic fluids
* Spend time in air conditioned places
* Slow down and try to stay out of the sun
For additional information on summer weather safety, please visit: http://www.crh.noaa.gov/sgf/?n=summer_safety


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