Lightning Detection System: THOR GUARD

THOR GUARD is currently out of service please scroll down to the “Inclement Weather Without an Alarm” section of this page.


The THOR GUARD Warning System is designed to sound when a potentially dangerous weather situation is approaching. This lightning detection system senses the energy changes that occur before lightning strikes. A computer database determines when the energy level needed for lightning to occur is within two miles. The system triggers a loud horn and emits a light, warning park visitors to seek shelter. In most cases, an 8-12 minute time frame will be provided to clear the area and seek shelter before a strike.

The system operates from Spring through the Fall, 24 hours per day.

Please note, neither the signal nor the system is intended to guarantee that conditions are safe.

Locations & Warning Signals

Carol Steam Park District has installed the THOR GUARD Lightning detection systems at the following locations:

  • Armstrong Park
  • Bierman Park
  • Hampe Park
  • McCaslin Park
  • Red Hawk Park
  • Simkus Recreation Center


Click to hear what the alarms sound like:

Warning Alert (15 second horn blast and strobe light flash)

All Clear (Three 5 second blasts of the horn and the strobe light stops flashing)

If You Hear the Warning Signal

  • If the loud horn blows once, outdoor programs must seek shelter immediately.
  • After three 5 second blasts of the horn, it is safe to resume outdoor activities. 
  • If the all clear signal does not sound after 20 minutes, cancel the activity.


THOR GUARD may not always sound even when dangerous weather is near.

If you are at a location without a lightning detection system & lightning is observed or thunder is audible, suspend outdoor activities and stay indoors for a minimum of 30 minutes

Where to Seek Shelter

During inclement weather, seek shelter in:

  • Your vehicle
  • A nearby building

Avoid the following:

  • Picnic shelters
  • Areas that are higher than the surrounding landscapes
  • Trees
  • Metal objects (bikes, golf carts, umbrellas, etc.)

Inclement Weather Without an Alarm

Do not solely rely on THOR GUARD. Individuals are expected to use good judgment and to act in the best interest of the participants and program.

While THOR GUARD provides warnings after lightning has been sighted, please do not fail to seek shelter if inclement weather is present. If the weather situation is not safe, do not wait for horns to activate – CLEAR THE AREA! Take shelter in your vehicles anytime lightning is seen or thunder is heard.

All individuals must use their best judgment at all times and should seek shelter in their vehicles and/or in a lightning protected building if their vehicle is not available when weather conditions are unpredictable.

Use the following additional methods to stay alert regarding the weather:

  • Listen to weather forecasts/cable Weather Channel
  • Weather radios
  • Visually monitoring the changing weather conditions
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