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New lightning tool tells a striking story

NOAA: “NOAA’s new Lightning Climatology tool for the continental U.S. shows when cloud-to-ground lightning flashes are historically most frequent for any location across the country.  Data about long-term lightning trends, as well as dates and times of reduced lightning risk, can be useful in a wide range of ways for virtually everyone. Organizers and supporters of outdoor events, outdoor workers, the aviation industry, emergency managers and meteorologists who forecast fire weather — or anyone interested in thunderstorms and lightning — can all benefit. While the Lightning Climatology tool helps identify how long-term plans may be impacted by thunderstorms, always check the weather forecast for short-term plans. Monitor your local radar for thunderstorms, which will help you know when to seek safe shelter. “Our new tool tells a story about when and where chances for lightning may be higher, putting anyone outside at a greater risk,” said Aaron Treadway, Severe Services Coordinator and lightning safety expert at NOAA’s National Weather Service. “This climatology data will help people make more informed decisions that impact everything from safety to cost-savings, and could improve the chance for a successful event. ”  Imagine that you are planning an outdoor wedding for the summer of 2023 in Tampa, Florida.  You can use Lightning Climatology to find out the probability of one or more cloud-to-ground lightning flashes in a 1-hour, 4-hour or 24-hour time period. We did that search and the data shows that mid-afternoon hours have the highest probability of lightning across the Tampa area for any day of the year…”

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