Severe lightning and thunderstorms are inherent to Florida summers – and they can cause unpredictable and hazardous conditions. According to Collier County, lightning is the number one cause of weather-related fatalities in Florida, averaging 10 fatalities and 40 injuries a year. Approximately half of the deaths and injuries occur during outdoor recreational activities. About 40% of those occur on the water.
Pelican Bay installed the Thor Guard Lightning Tracker in 2009, and it has been used as a highly regarded system for lightning prediction across North America.
Thor Guard monitors are fixed at all tram stations, displaying a radar map and accompanying alert message that broadcasts a range of messages from ALL CLEAR to a RED ALERT. Also, members are encouraged to download the Pelican Bay mobile app. With these tools, members can determine their options for proceeding to the beach.
Once a RED ALERT is issued, it is signaled by ONE LONG HORN BLAST. From North Beach, trams will make one last trip to Station 6 (Beach Walk) and Station 5 (Marker 36 Parking Lot), with a final destination of Station 4 (The Commons). From South Beach, trams will make one last trip to Station 4 (The Commons).
Foundation operations will then shut down, and no tram or activity is permitted until THREE SHORT HORN BLASTS signal the ALL CLEAR. Once an ALL CLEAR has been issued, tram operations will continue as normal.
Once more, members are encouraged to be proactive in checking Thor Guard on the PelicanBay.org website, using the Pelican Bay mobile app (by searching “Pelican Bay Foundation” in the App Store or Google Play Store), and viewing the Thor Guard monitors while on the berm or at the restaurants. These opportunities allow for increased awareness and efficient transportation in seeking safe shelter while facing the erratic stormy weather of Florida.