Severe thunderstorms and heavy rain will spread across the D.C. region beginning in the late afternoon. Flash flooding, isolated tornadoes, and frequent lightning are all possible. (Brian Allen via Flickr)

James Spann, the popular Birmingham, Ala., broadcast meteorologist, has a pet peeve: It’s that many people misspell the word lightning.

This weekend, for example, lightning delayed several college football games. Yet the athletic departments at two institutes of higher learning, the University of Georgia and Florida State University, dispatched tweets warning spectators of “lightening”:

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The tweets were either amended or deleted, but — for whatever reason — the mistake is one that is made repeatedly. I see it all the time in tweets and comments submitted to us here at the Capital Weather Gang.

“Really, it isn’t that hard,” Spann quipped on his Facebook page, attaching the information graphic below to educate and help make his point:


(James Spann on Facebook)

“Do you know what ‘lightening’ means?” Spann vented on the Weather Channel program WxGeeks last year. “It involves ladies’ plumbing and pregnancy and things we don’t need to be talking about here.”

Spann declared a call to action: “I think as a weather enterprise we should educate the public in what is ‘lightening’ and what is lightning. There is a slightly large difference.”

Watch WeatherBrains host James Spann lose his mind in this Weather Geeks Web Extra!

Posted by WX Geeks on Saturday, September 27, 2014