National Lightning Safety Awareness Week brings attention to dangers of thunderstorms

Hampden County

WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The National Weather Service is trying to help people stay safe during thunderstorms by calling this week National Lightning Safety Awareness Week.

So far this year, two people have been killed by lightning in the United States.

Thunderstorms are very common here in western Massachusetts during the summer months and lightning from thunderstorms can be very damaging and even deadly. On average, lightning kills more than 20 people each year in the United States and hundreds more are severely injured.

“One of the most important things to know about lightning is that lightning can strike very far away from the storm that it’s attributed that it’s part of so because of that just because you see lightning very far away of the time between the lightning and the thunder doesn’t mean you can’t get struck,” said 22News Storm Team Meteorologist Kelly Reardon.

Remember the sayings, “When thunder roars, go indoors” and for those who are deaf or hard of hearing, “if you see a flash, dash inside”. Lightning can be hotter than the surface of the sun with temperatures around 50,000 degrees. The safest place to be during a thunderstorm is inside a sturdy structure and away from windows. Stay off fields and never seek shelter under a tree during a thunderstorm.

It looks like we could be dealing with some thunderstorms as we head into next week.

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