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Lightning Safety for Events

Summer is here, and along with that, music-festivals, rodeos, running-races, track competitions, game weekends, county fairs and a hundred other fun outdoor activities. Weather has always impacted such gatherings and watching for lightning is one of the best indicators of the approach of severe weather. From afternoon thunderstorms to tornadoes and even hurricanes …. Lightning isolates that part of a storm where the most dangerous conditions always exist.

What winds, radar, temperature, pressure and humidity readings tell us is interesting and are useful forecasting tools. But lightning is the most immediate signal of severe weather and its current location, and that constantly update-able location is track-able! Along with lightning comes all of the other nastiness, including damaging hail, flooding rains, micro-burst winds and strong and gusting horizontal wind conditions. Though to detect and measure those other things a lot of sensors would be required right across the entire landscape. Whereas lightning sensors can “see” lightning occurring over great distances. So while you may not yet have any indication of wind, or heavy rain that is occurring right this second some twenty-five miles away, the associated lightning can be sensed and measured at that and even greater ranges within a purpose-built network. There are naturally examples too when lightning and its effects are the principle concern.

Strike just outside the stadium

The ability to determine where the lightning is occurring in real-time anywhere and everywhere around you (even despite having an obstructed view), and see what direction the strikes are tracking in, allows you to infer the near-future consequences of that approaching lightning. To be clear, no system reliably predicts where lightning will occur next, but you can infer a lot from where it has just hit.

Strike just inside the stadium

XkyFire (https://xkyfire.com) provides through subscriptions an internet based application, accessible from any mobile device with a web browser, the ability for event organizers to see in real-time lightning that is occurring near, or approaching their facilities. Whether it is a rodeo arena or a concert stadium … XkyFire will give you the fundamental situational awareness needed to make good decisions about public safety. You will be able to demonstrate that due diligence necessary to provide people attending your event critical lightning information, giving them the opportunity to decide for themselves what steps are necessary to help ensure safety.

While it may not be possible to empty an open stadium fast enough to avoid all of the dangers of approaching lightning, you still need to give everyone attending the chance to take steps to mitigate the risks as best they can. Moving back to a vehicle, finding cover beneath a roof, or even just lying flat on the ground … even in seemingly impossible circumstances there is always something that can be done to improve your chances.

At XkyFire you can select a subscription for either four or fourteen days, allowing economical access to a full commercial premium account with full features for only that period on and around your event dates. Map access for viewing real-time lightning data, automated alerting sent directly to the cell phones of critical event staff, and clearing messages that help to inform the decision to resume events with a minimum of downtime. The XkyFire service creates an objective ‘line in the sand’. Either there is lightning on this side of it, or there is not. Everything is timed stamped to the second, so there is nothing subjective about recency or frequency of strikes.  It is no longer necessary to guess about when it is safe to restart that ball game. The sensing is accurate, objective, and clearly defines the level of safety for operations at any moment in time.

Nearby strike – how much warning would your site have had?

Conditions can change from second to second on stormy days … you will need a system that reacts just as quickly. A second to second alerting system combined with map data that refreshes automatically every thirty seconds provides you and your staff the situational awareness needed to keep everyone in attendance as safe as possible from one of mother nature’s most unpredictable phenomenon.

XkyFire Real-Time Lightning Detection and Alerting Services. It only takes ten minutes to set-up a new account and alerting site that will be instantly functional. Don’t wait until the storm is overhead.