Lightning Prediction Alert System Installed at JJC

Just in time for the thunderstorms and uncertain weather that often come with the arrival of spring, JJC has installed the Thor Guard Lightning Prediction System to alert students, staff, and anyone visiting Main Campus when conditions are likely for a lightning strike to occur and that it is advisable to take shelter in a building or vehicle.

This specialized, scientific instrument utilizes a computer and sensor to monitor the earth’s electrostatic field and detect the possibility of a lightning strike within a two-and-a-half mile radius around Main Campus. When the probability of a cloud-to-ground lightning strike has reached the 30 percent mark, the system will emit an audible alarm and a visible yellow strobe light. When this happens, outdoor college athletic activities and events will come to a halt and participants will be asked to move indoors.

When the Thor Guard system determines that the threat of lightning has passed, the strobe light will cease and three short blasts will sound to alert people that it is safe to resume outdoor activities.

The alert stations are located on G-Building, the athletic fields, East Lot 8, and the Greenhouse. Surrounding businesses and residences will likely be able to hear the alerts as well as anyone on Main Campus. The alert system will be active daily between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m.

Anyone who wishes to monitor the system’s real time data can visit to see what data the system is currently detecting. The system utilizes a green/white/yellow/red spectrum to display conditions ranging from safe to threatening.

“The Thor Guard Lightning Prediction System is our latest effort in ensuring the utmost safety for students, staff and visitors on our campus,” said Environmental Health and Safety Manager Ed Vasil. “While not common, when lightning strikes do happen, they can be deadly. Now, thanks to this new system, anyone who is outdoors will have warning that conditions are favorable for lightning and will be able to take shelter. We are one of only a few institutions in the northern Illinois area to use this cutting-edge safety technology. ”

According to the National Lightning Safety Institute, one of every 200 houses will be struck by lightning in a given year, and 1 in 280,000 people will likely be struck by lightning.

For more information about the Thor Guard system, contact Ed Vasil at or 815-280-2384.

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