LIGHTNING IN PARADISE

Planning a vacation in Hawaii? Watch out for lightning!

While lightning activity in the Islands are less frequent than in other parts of the US, consider this: “In May 2011, O‘ahu experienced a particularly impressive storm with an estimated forty thousand cloud to ground lightning strikes over a 30 hour period. In March 2012, lightning struck the hull of a 36-foot catamaran in O‘ahu, and the boat sank to the bottom of Keehi Lagoon Boat Harbor. A storm in Dec 2013 on the Big Island of Hawai‘i yielded an estimated ten to twenty thousand lightning strikes.” While no injuries were documented during any of these incidents, the risks are high because of the time people spend outdoors.

And if you are visiting a volcano, make note that lightning can accompany eruptions.

Source: “Tropic Lightning: Myth or Menace?” by John McCarthy, MD

Photo: Oliver Spalt, CC-BY-2.0