Thunderstorms and lightning: beautiful but dangerous

Sep 26, 2012 1 minute read

Canadian weather is hard to predict, especially when it comes to thunderstorms. According to Environment Canada, lightning flashes occur about 2.34 million times a year in Canada.

In the summer months, the number can be as high as once every three seconds. While beautiful to look at, these powerful storms are dangerous; Environment Canada says that lightning storms kill up to 10 people, seriously injure up to 164 others, and ignite almost 4,000 forest fires each year.

Preparing for severe thunderstorms

Before the next storm, trim branches that may break and damage your home. Check your roof for leaks, install surge protectors for appliances and prepare an emergency kit of candles and matches, a battery-operated radio and extra batteries.

When a thunderstorm hits, there is no safe place outdoors. Head inside and stay away from appliances that conduct electricity in case lightning hits. If you are stuck outside, do not take shelter under a tree but drop to your knees, tuck your head in so that it’s lower than your back and brace yourself by putting your hands on your thighs. Do not lay on the ground because it creates a larger surface area for lightning to hit.

Environment Canada says that more than half of all lightning deaths happen after a storm appears to have passed. Wait 30 minutes after the thunder has passed before you head outside.

For more information about Canada’s weather, visit Environment Canada’s site.