(Vaisala)

Hey friends, it’s Lightning Awareness Week — a time to contemplate the power of the sky and think carefully about what you’re going to do this summer to avoid getting struck by lightning.

No, really . . . take a minute to think about it, because we still have dozens of lightning deaths per year and it is preventable. The No. 1 piece of advice I can give you is to really, actually go indoors when you hear thunder, and stay inside until the thunder has been over for at least 30 minutes.

Where not to go: Any structure with exposed sides such as porches, beach shacks, metal sheds, picnic shelters or pavilions, carports and baseball dugouts.

Along with the safety tips, I wanted to share with you this very neat map at the top of the story.

Vaisala has one of the largest and most accurate lightning detection networks in the world, and that’s not just a line from PR. In the meteorology world, Vaisala is synonymous with high-quality lightning detection. Since 2013, Vaisala has recorded more than 8.7 billion total lightning strokes with their global detection network, and in April, the company released this map showing the concentration of those strikes, allowing us to visualize where lightning strikes the most and where it’s almost unheard of.

Not surprisingly, the United States — Central and South in particular — is among the most active lightning locations in the world. Although lightning can strike anywhere in the United States, these areas generally coincide with lightning deaths.

Places that experience at least 64 lightning strikes per square kilometer each year

  • Southern United States
  • Paraguay, Uruguay and Colombia in South America
  • Congo in Africa
  • India, Sumatra and Malaysia in Asia
  • Northern coast of Australia

(Vaisala)