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Weather service designates Lightning Safety Awareness Week

By Lisa Burnett

This article was published June 19, 2014 at 1:44 p.m.

As lightning fatalities usually peak in July in the United States, the National Weather Service has designated the last full week of June each year to promote lightning safety.

Lightning Safety Awareness Week begins Sunday and continues through June 28.

John Robinson, warning coordination meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Little Rock, said during the 10-year period from 2004 through 2013, Arkansas was the sixth most active state in the country with regards to total lighting, averaging more than 850,000 cloud-to-ground lightning flashes per year.

Out of 329 lightning related deaths from 2004 to 2013 in the United States, Arkansas ranked 19th with six deaths in that time period, according to data from the National Weather Service.

The weather service’s website states that no place outside is safe when thunderstorms are in the area, and if one hears thunder, lightning is close enough to strike. While indoors, officials suggest staying away from windows and off corded phones, computers and other electrical equipment that could put someone in direct contact with electricity.

A complete list of lightning safety tips is available at noaa.gov.

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