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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.


Roeder W.P.,Rockledge | 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.,Simon Bolivar Hospital | 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.


Cooper M.A.,University of Illinois at Chicago | Holle R.L.,Holle Meteorology and Photography
2012 31st International Conference on Lightning Protection, ICLP 2012 | Year: 2012

Although several individuals in the United States (US) were working on lightning safety efforts, it was not until the early 1990's that researchers from many fields of study began to work together as they became aware of others with similar interests. The first organized effort on a national scale was in 1998 when a multidisciplinary group of recognized lightning researchers and experts met at an American Meteorological Society meeting and agreed on the Lightning Safety Guidelines (LSG) which were published in a number of venues. Beginning in 2001, a Lightning Safety Awareness (LSA) campaign was initiated by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) with many of the LSG individuals as well as others [1.2]. This campaign, now called Lightning Safety Week (LSW), occurs the last full week of June annually. The LSW website (www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov) has become the premier lightning safety site with general information, games, puzzles, public service announcements as well as special sections for the media, teachers, boaters, and many other interests and concerns. LSW members and others have continued to be active in promoting lightning inj ury prevention, train others, and develop lightning safety themes such as 'When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors!' that can be learned by any age. An interactive game using a cartoon character 'Leon, the Lightning Safety Lion' was developed to help teach lightning safety to children but is well liked by adults as well. The materials from this website are all free for download, use and modification by anyone who is interested in injury prevention and lightning safety. Collectively, the LSW team and others have made themselves available for thousands of interviews with newspapers, radio and television, worked on dozens of documentaries, as well as continuing their own research and publication. There has been a steady decrease in the lightning fatality rate over the past twenty years of work with a rate of less than O.lImillion US population in each of the last three years, in part due to the educational efforts of this group and the media's support in disseminating lightning safety information. © 2012 IEEE.


Holle R.L.,Holle Meteorology and Photography
2012 31st International Conference on Lightning Protection, ICLP 2012 | Year: 2012

There has not been an extensive study of lightning-caused fatalities and injuries to people under and around trees. Recent cases will be summarized from available web, newspaper, and other media reports. Over four hundred such events will be described that involve at least one death or injury. The gender, age, time of day, activity, and location have been determined. In addition, the intermediate paths, distances to trees, and mechanisms of injury to people affected by lightning relative to nearby trees will be determined as available from reports. © 2012 IEEE.


Holle R.L.,Holle Meteorology and Photography
2012 31st International Conference on Lightning Protection, ICLP 2012 | Year: 2012

A wide variety of lightning safety-related studies has been made by the author and colleagues since 2007. The studies involve analyses of large datasets of lightning casualties and flashes, and are oriented toward results that relate to lightning safety. Eight topics have been presented and published at several conferences and venues that may not be readily available. The results for these eight topics will be summarized in the following sections. © 2012 IEEE.


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.

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