All Weather News

Are Lightning Deaths on the Rise?

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Just about everyone in the U.S. is familiar with the summer afternoon thunderstorm. And for many people they’re just the pesky occurrence that may throw a wrench in your plans. So, when a thunderstorm pops up, do you go inside or just try to wait it out outside?

Thunderstorms are nothing to be taken lightly, especially if you’re outside.

Unfortunately, lightning deaths this year have become a more frequent occurrence in the news. Are lightning deaths on the rise this year? Well…the quick answer is no, but then again the year isn’t over.

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However, if this pace continues for the remainder of 2014, we will overtake last year’s total deaths. This year, to date, 19 people have died due to lightning strikes. Here’s some perspective: A total of 23 people died in 2013 because of lightning strikes.

From 2006 to 2013 the total of lightning deaths add up to more than 260. That means that lightning is not at the top of the list when it comes to weather-related deaths, but the fact of the matter is that number could be much easier lower.

When you take a more in-depth look at the statistics, the numbers are staggering. Percentages say men are much more likely to be struck by lightning, since 2006 men have accounted for 81% of lightning deaths.

That doesn’t mean women are immune to the danger from lightning. If you are outside when there’s a thunderstorm, you’re only putting yourself in danger.

A thunderstorm does not need to be overhead for lighting to reach you. If you can hear it, it’s close enough to strike you. Although uncommon, lightning bolts can strike areas well away from the thunderstorm, where skies could be completely sunny.

Next time you hear thunder or see lightning, ask yourself, “is it really worth the danger?”

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Seek shelter, it’s always better to be safe rather than sorry.

Meteorologist Thomas Geboy

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