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Cummins B.H.,Resource Systems Group Inc. | Cummins K.L.,University of Arizona | Holle R.L.,Holle Meteorology and Photography | Ashley W.S.,Northern Illinois University
Natural Hazards | Year: 2015

A new method to calculate lightning fatality risk is presented in order to develop a way to identify the lightning risk in areas where lightning fatality data are not available. This new method uses GIS software to multiply lightning flash density and population density on a grid and display the results on a map. A comparison to the known lightning fatality data was done to verify the method. The method works well with a quadratic regression correlation coefficient as high as 0.864, although a hybrid quadratic/log-linear regression is preferred for various reasons despite having a slightly lower correlation coefficient (0.827). Given the good performance, the lightning fatality risk method may be useful for developing countries, where lightning fatality reports may not be reliable, to help guide where to allocate scarce resources for lightning safety initiatives. © 2015 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht


Navarrete-Aldana N.,Burn Intensive Care Unit | Cooper M.A.,University of Illinois at Chicago | Holle R.L.,Holle Meteorology and Photography
Natural Hazards | Year: 2014

National lightning fatality information has been gathered and published for Australia, Canada, the USA, and Western Europe, but few such studies have taken place and been published in the formal literature during the last decade in other areas. National lightning fatality data are difficult to collect in many countries, especially in tropical regions, despite a high frequency of lightning. To partially fill this gap, the current paper provides the first comprehensive national summary of lightning deaths in Colombia. Data from the National Administrative Department of Statistics were gathered for 2000 through 2009 and were classified according to the number of fatalities by year, month, gender, age, and location of the fatality. These data were assigned to geographical departments to determine the fatality rates per type of population. Comparison was also made with the population percentage in rural areas where the outdoor lightning risk may be greater than in cities due to labor-intensive agricultural practices, housing that is unsafe from the lightning threat, lack of access to weather forecasts and lightning safety knowledge, and other factors. Data from an international lightning locating system also were used to determine the annual lightning frequency and monthly totals in Colombia. During the ten study years, 757 deaths were identified. The highest mortality rates were in rural areas with a maximum of 7.69 deaths per million per year in the Vaupes Department of eastern Colombia. The death rate for all of Colombia was 1.78 per million per year during the same period. © Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014.


Cardoso I.,National Institute for Space Research | Pinto O.,National Institute for Space Research | Pinto I.R.C.A.,National Institute for Space Research | Holle R.,Holle Meteorology and Photography
Atmospheric Research | Year: 2014

A 10-year study of lightning fatalities in Brazil is presented. It is the most complete study undertaken in South America. The study indicates the death rates in the country sorted by season, state, city, type of region, age, gender and circumstances. Ten years of data were collected from the Federal Civil Defense Agency, the Ministry of Health and the media press. The circumstances of lightning fatalities in Brazil were compared with other countries that have this information available. It also includes an analysis of the differences involved in lightning deaths in each region of Brazil. The results suggest that specific actions should be adopted in terms of lightning protection to minimize risks. Finally, this study provides useful information in order to identify the most important lightning safety rules for the country. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.


Holle R.L.,Holle Meteorology and Photography
2014 International Conference on Lightning Protection, ICLP 2014 | Year: 2014

Lightning safety involves recognizing when a thunderstorm is ready to produce a flash, where is a safe location, and how long to stay there. While outdoors, visual recognition of lightning-bearing clouds is often possible. However, intervening clouds and distracting features may be present. This paper will identify cloud types that help identify the presence of lightning. A description of cloud formation will include the names and definitions of relevant cloud types, as well as examples using cumulus photographs from a variety of locations, climatic regions, and seasons. Additional discussion will focus on the existence of dark clouds that may or may not be lightning indicators. Most critical for lightning safety purposes is the common situation where only segments of the critical cloud segments that indicate lightning potential may be evident. © 2014 IEEE.


Roeder W.P.,Private Meteorologist | Cummins B.H.,Resource Systems Group Inc. | Ashley W.S.,Northern Illinois University | Holle R.L.,Holle Meteorology and Photography | Cummins K.L.,University of Arizona
2014 International Conference on Lightning Protection, ICLP 2014 | Year: 2014

A new method to calculate lightning fatality risk is presented. This new method uses GIS software to multiply lightning flash density and population density on a grid and display the results on a map. The method was verified against observed lightning fatalities in the United States and works well with a quadratic regression correlation coefficient as high as 0.864. These lightning fatality risk maps may be useful in helping plan lightning safety initiatives in developing countries. © 2014 IEEE.

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