Lightning Safety



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Did you know that lightning kills more people in Florida than all other weather hazards combined? Please use the following tips to stay safe in the event of an oncoming thunderstorm:

  • Monitor threatening weather. Be aware of thunderstorm watches and warnings and look for darkening skies, flashes of lightning or increased wind, which may be signs of a developing or approaching thunderstorm.
  • Check the latest forecast prior to a practice or event. Postpone activities if necessary.If thunderstorms are forecasted, most often during the summer months, consider postponing activities early to avoid being caught in a dangerous situation.
  • Get to a safe structure. If you hear thunder, suspend your activity immediately and instruct everyone to get to a safe structure. Avoid sheds, small or open shelters, dugouts, bleachers, or grandstands, and stay off corded phones and away from wiring or plumbing. If a sturdy building is not nearby, a hard-topped metal vehicle with the windows closed will offer good protection.
  • Use the 30/30 Rule. If you see lightning, count how many seconds before you hear the thunder. If it's less than 30 seconds, take cover. Wait 30 minutes after the last flash of lightning or sound of thunder before resuming any outdoor activity.
  • Consider an app for your mobile device. Apps for mobile devices are now available that provide access to a local network of lightning sensors. This may be an additional resource for you to assess surrounding weather conditions and practice personal safety.

Thanks to the vigilance of park patrons, a lightning related incident has never occurred in a County park or facility. We can remain incident-free if you continue to be vigilant and use sensible precaution.

LIGHTNING PREDICTION SYSTEMS ARE USED IN A FEW LOCATIONS...

If you hear a loud siren while you're enjoying the day at one of our waterparks, golf courses, or at the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens, please take notice and be alert. The siren is a warning that indicates a lightning storm is coming. Remain calm and work quickly and efficiently in getting your family and friends to shelter. Be smart and stay out of the weather until the all-clear signals sound. 

Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens
John Prince Golf Learning Center
Okeeheelee Golf Course
Southwinds Golf Course
Osprey Point Golf Course
Park Ridge Golf Course


 

Lightning Detector Box 

 

The Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens and John Prince, Okeeheelee, Southwinds, Osprey Point, and Park Ridge Golf Courses use the Earth Networks Weather Bug. The weather station is a state-of-the-art, professional-grade weather sensor suite that tracks 27 different variables from stations located at over 10,000 educational, government, emergency management and recreational facilities nationwide. When lightning is detected within a specified radius, a signal triggers a 15-second horn blast that warns park patrons. Visitors are advised to seek shelter. Golfers may continue to play at their own risk. The lightning alert stays on until three shorter 5-second horn blasts provide an all-clear signal. No new starter tickets are sold at golf courses until the all-clear siren occurs.

 

Coconut Cove and Calypso Bay Waterparks

 

Palm Beach County’s two waterparks, Calypso Bay and Coconut Cove, use Thorguard electronic lightning prediction systems. They include a central sensor unit on a main building and a relay horn to provide coverage for the entire waterpark area. In addition to the air horns, a light continues to flash after the horns have sounded. The light stays on until three short horn blasts provide an all-clear signal.

When a warning is sounded (one long 15-second blast), guests have eight-fifteen minutes to take shelter, depending on the speed of the storm. All pools are immediately closed, and lifeguard staff direct guests to safe areas.

 

RELATED LINKS:
National Lightning Safety Institute
National Weather Service - Lightning Safety