Video: Lightning Safety on the Soccer Field


(Sounds and footage of teens warming up in a soccer field.)

(Music fading-in.)

(The referee and the lineswoman observe the cloudy sky. They both look at the Canadian Lightning Danger Map on a smartphone.)

Title Overlay:  Canadian Lightning Danger Map

Referee: Coaches!

(The referee, the lineswoman and the two coaches meet in the center of the field.)

Referee: Good afternoon!

Coaches: Good afternoon!

Referee: So prior to arriving, I checked the Environment Canada weather forecast and unfortunately they announce the risk of thunderstorms. What this means is that I need two volunteers, one from each team, who are going to check the Canadian Lightning Danger Map online.

(Zoom on the Canadian Lightning Danger Map)

Referee: If at any point we hear thunder or we see the little red circles approaching the field, we're going to end the game immediately and we're going to take shelter inside the chalet or inside the cars. Do you understand?

Coaches: Yes!

Referee: Please inform the teams in case they need to prepare themselves for the emergency and good luck, good game!

(Whistle blow, match starts.)

Title Overlay:  Matthew MacDonald, Meteorologist – Environment Canada

EC Meteorologist: Would you know what to do, or where to look for lightning strike information? Should the game continue, or be delayed? How would you decide?  The Canadian Lightning Danger Maps use information from recent lightning strikes to create high danger zones indicated in red.

(Back to the sidelines of the game, a mother looks at the Canadian Lightning Danger Map on her smartphone; the red dots are close to the field.)

EC Meteorologist: The danger zones help show you where the lightning risk is greatest. Remember, it's not only direct lightning bolt that can change your life. Ground current, side flash and upward leaders can all injure or kill a person.

(Aerial view of the soccer field.)

Animation Overlay: Lightning hits the middle of the field, the current spreads in the ground under the players. A lightning hits a lighting tower on the side of the field, some of the current splashes through nearby bleachers.  Upward leaders rise from some of the players.

EC Meteorologist:  Red circles are used to indicate areas that have the highest risk. If red circles are over your location, then you're in a high danger zone. You are at immediate risk of being injured or killed by lightning for at least the next 10 minutes. 

(The mother tells the lineswoman to stop the match. Whistle blow.)

Referee: Everybody off the field!

EC Meteorologist:  Get to a safe location immediately, which includes a solid building with wiring and plumbing or an all-metal vehicle. Do not shelter under a tree!

(Most of the teens seek refuge in the chalet while others enter their parent’s vehicle.)

(Zoom out of the Canadian Lightning Danger Map.)

EC Meteorologist:  If red circles are nearby or there are thunderstorms in the forecast, make sure to keep an eye on the sky and listen for thunder. If you can see or hear thunderstorms developing then remember...

(Thunder rumbles.)

EC Meteorologist:  When thunder roars, go indoors!

Title Overlay: When thunder roars, go indoors!

(Camera pans up.)

Title Overlay:  Dedicated to all soccer players who lost their lives to lightning strikes.

EC Meteorologist:  To see what your current lighting danger risk is, please view Environment Canada's lightning danger maps on our website.

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 [Music fading-out.]

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