BISMARCK – With school out and the first day of summer officially coming on Friday, many of you will spend your summer days outside.
It’s leisure activity season here in North Dakota and those activities have been rarely interrupted by severe weather, and it’s that lack of severe weather that could lull many of you into a false sense of security.
You don’t have to be a meteorologist to figure out this year’s been pretty quiet in terms of severe weather..and the numbers don’t lie…
The National weather Service in Bismarck has issued just 22 Severe Thunderstorm Warnings through Monday…last year by this time they had issued 95
But as thunderstorms are sure to increase as we go though the summer…so do the odds of a lightning strike.
Between 2006 and last year, 396 people were killed by lightning with two-thirds of those fatalities involve an outdoor activity…and you’ll never guess which one…
“I would say Golfing”
“Most Often, Golf”
“Is it boating?”
That’s right…according to National Weather Service data…more people were killed while fishing than any other outdoor activity..in fact, golf wasn’t even in the top 10.
KX News went to the National Weather Service to Find Out…
“You’re in a wide open space, and you’re above the water, so your automatically the highest thing out there, and lightning tends to find that least distance channel, so, if you’re the highest thing out there, that increases your risk right there”, said Meteorologist Zachary Hargrove with the National Weather Service in Bismarck.
Even more alarming…the majority of those fisherman were men…why? according to a report by the National Weather Service, it’s because men are less likely to take early action. Farming used to be the most dangerous activity, but major advances in safety equipment and better education have reduced those numbers dramatically.
So when the skies darken, drop the reel and head for safety as fast as you can…it’s a decision that could keep you fishing for another day.