Whether it’s during a large summer storm or simply some local instability on a hot summer evening, lighting can seem to strike out of the blue in a dazzling display against the sky. Notwithstanding its ability to put on a fascinating show, lightning is and always should be considered very dangerous.
In fact, a study completed by Environment Canada in 2006 found that each year on average in Canada, lightning strikes cause as many as 10 deaths and up to 164 injuries.
Aside from its affect on humans, property damage and other disruptions caused by lightning in Canada incur costs of between $600 million and $1 billion annually.
Lightning is also a major cause of forest fires in Canada. In addition to the threats from lightning, thunderstorms which are defined by the presence of lightning, are known to be hazardous, sometimes producing tornadoes, high winds, heavy rain and hail.
That is why Environment Canada’s Canadian Lightning Detection Network (CLDN) exists, determining the precise location, strength and time of lightning strikes across the country. The CLDN allows meteorologists to track thunderstorms more accurately, and as a result they are able to issue severe weather warnings sooner, so that Canadians can keep themselves and their loved ones out of harms way.
Environment Canada also produces hourly maps of lightning activity in each province through our Weatheroffice website, so that people in active areas can constantly remain prepared and aware when lightning strikes.
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