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ACLENet is a co-sponsor of the
International Conference on Lightning Protection (ICLP2022),

one of the most prestigious international lightning protection conferences.
It is coming to the African continent for the first time in 2022!
The abstract deadline has been extended to
15 February.
LEAD STORY
Over 82 die from lightning strikes and drownings in South Africa

Over 82 deaths have occurred as a result of severe summer weather in South Africa, which has been pummeled by downpours for days.

According to the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, most of the deaths were due to drowning and lightning strikes.
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The Importance of Reliable Data in Promoting Lightning Safety
 Reliable data is important in the planning and implementation of any project or enterprise, including efforts to promote lightning safety.

Our lead story for January,  'Over 82 die from lightning strikes and drownings in South Africa,' is an eye catcher and interesting in many ways. While it is impossible to separate deaths and destruction caused by lightning from those caused by drownings and other causes, ‘severe summer weather’ reminds us that lightning does not come in isolation.
In most cases, lightning is only one component of severe weather. But, from whatever angle you look at it, a death toll of 82 people is an unacceptably high number of deaths in a period of one month.

Looking at data from another angle:  Lightning detection helps us to assess risk and could be used in warnings to prevent injury to vulnerable people.
Internationally, lightning detection in real time began with ground-based antennas in the late 1970s. Since then, operational national lightning detection networks have been installed in over 50 countries for use by meteorological agencies, power utilities, aviation, forest fire monitoring, and public safety. However, almost none of these networks are in Africa. In the last decade, global detection has shown thunderstorms everywhere in the world from the North Pole to the Antarctic oceans and in all areas between them. With such networks as the Global Lightning Dataset GLD360, nearly every thunderstorm has been detected in real time with high accuracy with an average of over two billion strokes per year. In addition, sensors in satellites show a complementary view from orbit to provide a different perspective, although there is not yet global real-time detection from satellites.

ACLENet has been gathering data on lightning caused deaths, injuries, and property damage across Africa with increasing success and currently has the largest publicly available database of lightning news reports, listing 33 of the 55 African countries. However, we are only touching the surface and a more complete database is needed to measure whether safety education and other measures is making a difference. We are hopeful as we continue working to link with governments across Africa, that we shall be able to eventually construct a robust framework to collect credible data as ground truthing of what satellites give us. We shall also need the participation of multiple partners for processing of the data into various applications.
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LIGHTNING FOLKLORE
A story about a giant and the cause of thunder
(Hausa people of West Africa)

Once there was a man who claimed he was ‘A-Man-Among-Men.’ Whenever he came back from the forest, he threw down the firewood on his shoulders and shouted ‘I am A-Man-Among-Men!’ But every time he said this, his wife scoffed, 'if you meet A-Man-Among-Men, you’d run.' He thought otherwise and dared anyone who thought he was 'A-Man-Among Men' to show up.

One day, his wife went to fetch water from a well, but the bucket attached to the well was so heavy that 10 men would be needed to lift it. As she returned home with her empty calabash, she met an older woman with a baby on her back. After exchanging greetings, the wife of ‘A-Man-Among-Men’ informed the woman about the bucket at the well. The old woman said, 'Oh, let’s go. My son can do it.' So they returned and the baby fetched the water for them to the astonishment of the wife of ‘A-Man-Among-Men.’
Read  the rest of the story
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African Lightning Events Reported in January

Lightning kills 2 children and a woman
Madagascar

4 January 2022
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Couple struck by lightning
Botswana

4 January 2022
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Lightning kills five in western Tanzania 
6 January 2022
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Lightning causes two deaths in Saurimo
Angola

January 2022
Read more
KwaZulu Natal storms: 24 people have died says MEC
South Africa

 11 January 2022
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Four grave diggers killed by lightning strike in southern Tanzania
 11 January 2022
Read more
Deaths and damage as storms hit Mozambique region
 12 January 2022
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Mother, child struck by lightning
Tanzania
Five others seriously injured

 14 January 2022
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Two People Killed by Lightning in Rwanda Last Week
Rwanda
14 January 2022
Read more
Lightning kills two in Mchinji
Malawi

17 January 2022
Read more
Over 82 die from lightning strikes and drownings in South Africa
18 January 2022
Read more
Two struck by lightning, flash floods on highway
South Africa

18 January 2022
Read more
Lightning kills two, injures one in Dedza
Malawi

30 January 2022
Read more
Ron Holle tells about lightning safety, ACLENet's staff, and why he supports ACLENet with his time, money and expertise.
Click here for an interactive WORLD MAP of LIGHTNING
If you keep moving into the US map, you can get down to the state/county level of lightning for the contiguous 48 states
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