Author: Mary Knapp

As we all know lightning can be dangerous. In addition to the risk of injury or death to individuals, every year lightning sparks fires across the country. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), “these fires caused an average of nine civilian deaths, 53 civilian injuries, and $451 million in direct property damage per year.” While most fires occur outdoors, most of the deaths, injuries and damages are due to house fires ignited by lightning. Sometimes, unusual items are hit. On July 12, 1991, fifteen miles northeast of St. John Kansas, two oil tank batteries were ignited by lightning. A loud explosion was heard and the blaze lasted for over an hour.

Lightning (WDL archives)

Mary Knapp, Weather Data Library