Lightning storm that killed lad, 9, was ‘fairly typical’, Met Office confirms

The Met Office has confirmed that the sudden lightning storm that tragically killed nine-year-old Jordan Banks was "fairly typical".

Avid Liverpool FC fan Jordan was seriously injured in Blackpool, Lancashire after being hit by a bolt at around 5.05pm on Tuesday, May 11.

Emergency services arrived at the scene and the youngster was taken to hospital, where he later died.

Spirit of Youth, a junior football club, confirmed the tragedy took place at their home ground although Jordan, a middle child of three, was not a player at the club.

And now Met Office meteorologists have said the weather was "typical" for a lightning storm during this time of year.

Met Office spokesman Grahame Madge told the Blackpool Gazette: "Ahead of yesterday, there wasn't anything about the weather forecast that was considered exceptional from any other day when we have lots of thundery activity.

"We regarded it as being a fairly typical day, with thunder and showers moving through. They were fast-moving, so they wouldn't have impacted any particular area for any long duration.

"The lightning network across central parts of the UK, including the North West, yesterday registered around 2,400 lightning strikes, which sounds like a big number but is something that we would expect on any typical spring or summer day with thundery activity.

"What we look for when looking at thundery activity is what meteorologists call convection, which is rapidly rising columns of air, and it's that which formed the central pillar of thunderstorm development.

"Yesterday the conditions were right for the formation of thunderstorms, which can form very quickly. But there wasn't anything that was considered unusual about that.

"There wasn't anything that distinguished yesterday from any other thundery day, notwithstanding the terrible tragedy which took place."

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He added the last year in the UK that no one was killed by a lightning strike was in the 1930s, but numbers over the last hundred years have been reducing.

Mr Madge also gave advice for anyone caught out during lightning storms, adding: "Upon hearing the first rumble of thunder or first flash of lightning, no matter how far away it seems, you are already within range and potentially at risk.

"We would urge anyone that's outside, especially golfers, fishermen, and anyone near metal, to try and head for cover, and if you can't head for cover immediately then there are things you can do to minimise the risk.

"The best thing to do is to reduce your profile as much as possible by adopting a squatting position, which is recognised as being safer, as it decreases your chance of being struck by lightning and increases your chance of surviving if you are."

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Following the tragedy, Jordan’s family paid tribute to their son, saying he was their "everything".

They said: “Yesterday our worlds stopped. We lost the brightest star our beautiful boy Jordan.

"His laugh, that infectious smile, golden curls, he was our everything.

"Wise beyond his years, caring, considerate, generous and so loving. Our love is endless.

"Goodnight beautiful boy.

"We thank you all for your kind words and support but as a family ask that you respect our wishes and privacy.”

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