Pat Shingleton: "Lightning, Audrey and Heat Islands..."
On June 26, 1969, lightning struck the Lanesboro State Fish Hatchery in Minnesota; 19,000 fish were fried. Stay away from metal objects during a lightning storm and keep Fido away too. In Inverness, FL on June 25, '96, a bolt of lightning blasted a backyard clothes-line, sending the charge through the leash. Many will remember today's date as Hurricane Audrey gathered momentum in the northwest Gulf of Mexico in 1957. It hit the Louisiana/Texas border on June 27 with a 12 foot storm surge and gusts of 180 miles per hour, setting a record for the most storm deaths in the month of June at 390. AccuWeather.com reported that studies suggest increased heat can also increase aggression. The Heat Island Effect is caused by higher populations, increased construction and rising energy consumption resulting in temperature increases by 15 degrees at night. The American Automobile Association conducted a study by positioning cars at red lights during extreme heat. This was enacted prior to the advent of cellular devices, e-mails and texting. The drivers were instructed to ignore the light change while reactions were monitored. Other studies have found a correlation between hotter weather and elevated crime rates. The New York Times reported that a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control determined that homicides swell between July and September.
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