Tonight was the monthly meeting of the Radio Society of Tucson (RST). The club is really growing lately and there are some excellent presentations at the meetings. The speaker tonight was Ron Holle, a meteorologist from Vaisala, which is a company that operates the National Lightning Detection Network. These guys have some very advanced lighting detection systems and they publish plenty of data regarding lightning strikes around the world.
Ron's talk was quite interesting and while it was not directly related to amateur radio, it certainly was a relavant topic since we all need to be concerned with our antennas taking a hit. Last year I had a neighbor whose tree was hit, and the lightning jumped across to the house and started a fire. Another friend of mine from the astronomy club had a very damaging strike at his house this summer. Tucson is one of the worst places in the country for lighting strikes during the summer monsoon months. Here's a picture I took last year from my back yard during a severe thunderstorm - I probably was putting my life on the line when I took this!