Lightning Detection System and Procedures of CLA:
The Coppell Parks and Recreation Department has installed a lightning prediction system in some of its busier park sites and along some trails. This new system is designed to alert users that the conditions are favorable for lightning strikes.
The Thor Guard system consists of a sensor designed to measure the atmospheric conditions that lend themselves to the formation of lightning. When the system determines that a hazardous condition exists, air horns and a flashing strobe light are automatically activated. This system can provide a warning 8 to 20 minutes before a potential strike occurs. The system monitors a 2-mile radius around the unit.This improved system predicts the potential for a strike by analyzing the electrostatic field in the atmosphere. When the conditions are right, the system will sound an alarm. This is the signal for those in the area to seek shelter.
The lightning prediction system will operate during the hours park/school sites are open, 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days a week. Parks and recreation staff members will perform routine maintenance on the system on a monthly basis.
When the system detects the potential for a lightning strike, the air horns sound an uninterrupted 15-second blast and the strobe light will activate. Patrons who hear the horn and/or see the light need to seek shelter immediately. When the system no longer detects a threat, three 5-second blasts from the horn will sound and the strobe light will stop working. This is the signal that it is safe to return outdoors.
Systems are now located at Andrew Brown Central, Wagon Wheel, Coppell Middle School North and Coppell Middle School West (Lesley Field).
When the system does detect the potential for lightning or a storm is approaching, visitors should quickly seek shelter.
Move to a sturdy building or car.
Do not take shelter in small sheds, under isolated trees, or in convertible automobiles.
If lightning is occurring and a sturdy shelter is not available, get inside a hard top automobile and keep the windows up (information courtesy of the National Weather Service).
If you are outdoors with no shelter available, find a low spot away from trees, bleachers, goal posts, and other structures.
Make sure the area is not prone to flooding.