When thunder roars, go indoors

The Canadian Lightning Danger map, found under the ‘Alerts’ section of weather.gc.ca, displays high risk lightning areas in red.

These maps are updated at an interval of 10 minutes, based on recent lightning observations, and are particularly important for those planning a camping trip, boating and waterskiing, or organizing an outdoor public event.  

“If the map indicates red areas over your location or if you hear thunder, then you are at risk of being struck by lightning,” a report from Environment Canada reads. “You should go to a safe location, either a building with plumbing and wiring or an all metal vehicle and stay there for 30 minutes following the last rumble of thunder.”

Research in North America shows that the risk of injury or death resulting from a lighting strike occur evenly through the early stages of a storm, the peak and the time following the peak of the storm, according to the report.

“Environment Canada issues Severe Thunderstorm Watches and Warnings when severe weather such as large hail, strong winds, heavy downpours, or even tornadoes are possible,” the report goes on to say. “When planning outdoor activities this summer, it is important to listen to weather forecasts, and to keep an eye on the sky as weather conditions can change quickly.”

You can contact your regional Warning Preparedness Meteorologist if you have questions or need more information on the Canadian Lightning Danger map or Lightning in Canada, at 1 866 672 5463.