WeatherBug Schools Classroom Connections
Golf and Lightning — April 2011

Dear Educator,

WHEN THUNDER ROARS, GO INDOORS! That is the message we want to communicate to all the students. People, including students, get struck by lightning every year. If we were all better informed about lightning safety, we would know what actions to take when caught in a predicament in which making the right decision can mean the difference between life or death.

View Weather & Aerobatics in WMVThis is true for many students that compete in outdoor activities after school and especially true for golfers. They are confronted with the threat of lightning and with having to make the right decisions in order to stay safe. Many golf courses, and some schools, implement lightning detection systems to provide advanced warning. But why are golfers more at risk from lightning strikes? Is it because they play regardless of the risk? It can't happen to me, right?

WeatherBug Meteorologist Bay Scroggins investigates lightning as it relates to the sport of golf and also gives us a few pointers to help us stay safe in this month's Classroom Connections video lesson - Golf and Lightning (WMV). You can also view it in QuickTime video format.

Here are some tips provided by the National Weather Service and on how to avoid lightning threat:

  • Have a lightning safety plan. Know where you’ll go for
    safety and how much time it will take to get there. Make
    sure your plan allows enough time to reach safety.
  • Postpone activities. Before going outdoors, check
    the forecast for thunderstorms. Consider postponing
    activities to avoid being caught in a dangerous situation.
  • Monitor the weather. Look for signs of a developing
    thunderstorm such as darkening skies, flashes of lightning
    or increasing wind.
  • Get to a safe place. If you hear thunder, even a distant
    rumble, immediately move to a safe place like an enclosed building: a school, office or house that has wiring and plumbing provide the best protection. Sheds, picnic shelters, tents or covered
    porches do NOT protect you from lightning. If a sturdy
    building is not nearby, get into a hard-topped metal
    vehicle and close all the windows. Stay inside until 30 minutes after the last rumble of thunder.
  • If you hear thunder, don’t use a corded phone except
    in an emergency. Cordless phones and cell phones are
    safe to use.
  • Keep away from electrical equipment and wiring.
  • Water pipes conduct electricity. Don’t take a bath or
    shower or use other plumbing during a storm.

Most experts agree that through improved awareness, education and planning, and through the implementation of advanced warning technologies, many lightning strike incidents can be avoided. WeatherBug agrees, and as a result, offers technology solutions that provide advanced warning of lightning and severe weather.

Thanks for reading this month's issue of Classroom Connections and remember, WHEN THUNDER ROARS, GO INDOORS!

Stay tuned to your inbox for next month's issue.


The WeatherBug Schools Team

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