Alertable Events: Lightning

Alertable uses the list of events created for the Canadian Profile of the Common Alerting Protocol (CAP-CP). This event list includes many different types of emergency-related events, outside the most commonly known events like weather, fires, and floods. We’re looking for your feedback on other events to include in Alertable, so please let us know what you’d like to see in the comment box below.

Environment Canada currently issues an alert when a thunderstorm is or has the potential to be severe. This means there are wind gusts of 90 km/h or greater, or hail two cm or larger, or heavy rainfall. But how about lesser thunderstorms that don’t meet these criteria? Or just thunder and lightning with no rain? Don’t these events also pose a threat?

Lightning is a common meteorological hazard in Canada, which regularly kills and injures people. It is estimated that each year on average in Canada, there are between nine and 10 lightning-related deaths and up to 164 lightning-related injuries. In addition, lightning accounts for starting 45 percent of all forest fires and also causes damage to electrical infrastructure and equipment across the country.

The Canadian Lightning Detection Network (CLDN) was established in 1998 and consists of over 80 lightning sensors distributed across Canada which detect cloud-to-ground and cloud-to-cloud lightning strikes. The information from these sensors is processed and made available to the public on the Canadian Lightning Danger Map. Let us know your thoughts on whether lightning danger is something you’d like to see in Alertable via the comment box below.

Take care. Be prepared.

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