Lightning Awareness Week: Earth Networks - WeatherBug Encourages the Public to Stay Alert with Advanced Severe Weather Alerts and Applications
Germantown, MD - June 23, 2011 – This year’s severe weather season has been increasingly active, with powerful storms posing serious dangers to citizens across the country. Earth Networks™, owner of the WeatherBug® brand and operator of world’s largest lightning detection network, is urging the public to stay informed of the rapidly changing and often severe weather conditions that occur during summer months.
This week is National Lightning Safety Awareness Week, as declared by the National Weather Service (NWS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The campaign aims to build awareness of the dangers from lightning, as an average of 55 people are killed each year by lightning, according to NWS.
To help stay safe from lightning and other forms of severe weather throughout the year, early warnings and alerts from advanced weather networks are critical. Earth Networks - WeatherBug operates the world’s largest Total Lightning Network. The network includes more than 400 sensors worldwide and, importantly, detects both cloud-to-ground and in-cloud lightning. The presence of in-cloud lightning often indicates the potential of severe weather phenomena, including heavy rain, large hail, dangerous cloud-to-ground lightning strikes, tornadoes and downburst winds. When lightning rates exceed a “severe” threshold and there is an increased threat for severe weather, Dangerous Thunderstorm Alerts are issued via the Earth Networks - WeatherBug line of desktop, web and mobile apps.
During National Lightning Safety Awareness Week, what can people do to help stay safe throughout the year?
Get the Tools: Use a mobile, online or desktop weather application to check conditions throughout the day – especially when planning outdoor events or travelling. Only Earth Networks - WeatherBug provides Dangerous Thunderstorm Alerts from the Total Lightning Network, the world’s largest and fastest lightning detection network, in addition to watches and warnings from the National Weather Service.
Get Informed: Contrary to popular belief, it does not have to be raining for lightning to strike – lightning can jump out ten miles from a thunderstorm and even strike on a sunny day. Facts like those provided by NWS ( http://www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov/resources/Lightning_What_you_Need_to_Know.pdf) can save your life.
Get Inside: Do not wait to see what the weather will do. If severe weather is approaching, the best advice is to get inside as soon as you hear thunder, even if a storm does not seem imminent. Lightning can strike thousands of times in a short timeframe within a radius of just a few miles.
“Unfortunately, 2011 has seen the highest number of weather-related fatalities in more than a half century, and this number is likely to increase as the summer moves into high gear,” says Earth Networks - WeatherBug Chief Meteorologist Mark Hoekzema. “Fortunately, the technology is more advanced and accessible than ever before. Remember to stay alert and be prepared to change your plans to keep you and your family safe during the summer months.”
About Earth Networks™
As the provider of advanced weather data for nearly 20 years, Earth Networks (formerly AWS) operates the world’s largest weather observation and lightning detection networks and is building what will become the largest greenhouse gas monitoring network. Observations from Earth Networks inform and alert consumers, enterprises and governments around the world, providing them with advanced environmental intelligence for decision making and safety. The company’s popular WeatherBug website, desktop application and mobile apps provide millions of consumers with real-time, local weather information and dangerous severe weather alerts. Enterprise solutions from Earth Networks enable organizations, including energy and utilities, agriculture, sports and recreation, emergency operations and government entities, to safeguard lives, prepare for weather and climate events and improve business operations. Earth Networks (www.earthnetworks.com) is based in Germantown, Md.
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