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Wyoming Severe Weather Awareness Week

Thursday - Lightning Safety

Goshen County Tornado
Photo Courtesy of Dan Fitts - Goshen County, WY - June 5, 2009.

Index Watch/Warning Program Thunderstorm Climatology Severe Weather Safety Lightning Safety Weather Sources


  • Lightning is responsible for more deaths and injuries across Wyoming each year than from any other thunderstorm phenomena.
  • Wyoming leads the nation in number of lightning injuries per capita, with 5.74 injuries per million people each year.
  • Wyoming is 2nd only to New Mexico in number of lightning deaths per capita.
  • Since 1995, all of the lightning fatalities in Wyoming have occurred in the mountains.
  • Lightning is the #2 severe weather killer (on average 62 people per year) in the United States behind flash floods.



Safety Information

Plan: Plan outdoor activities to avoid thunderstorms. Listen to NOAA Weather Radio All-Hazards for the latest weather forecast before heading out.

If Thunder Roars Go Indoors!: If you can hear thunder, go inside. Stay inside at least 30 minutes after the last rumble of thunder is heard.

Safe Places: Fully enclosed large building provide good lightning protection. Vehicles with a solid metal top and sides give good protection.

Indoors: Don't use corded telephones. Keep away from electrical appliances, wiring, plumbing, and windows.

Outdoors: Stop all outdoor activities immediately. Avoid elevated places and open spaces. Stay away from water and tall isolated objects. Do NOT go under trees! Allow time to reach safety. Don't seek refuge in open structures. If in the water or out in a boat, return to shore and seek shelter immediately.

First Aid: Call 911. All lightning deaths are from cardiac/respiratory arrest. Use an AED, CPR or rescue breathing.


Additional Information

Some of the pages listed below are in a PDF format. To view these files Download Adobe Reader


Thunderstorms, Tornadoes and Lightning: Natures Most Violent Storms

Lightning Safety: National Website | Wyoming Lightning Safety Brochure | Wyoming Lightning Poster

Storm Spotter's Guide: Basic | Advanced