Good News: Another Slow Start for U.S. Lightning Deaths So Far in 2018
Slow starts usually have a negative connotation to them. In this case, it’s really good news.
So far in 2018, there have only been two deaths attributed to lightning nationwide, a lower figure than usual for this point in the year. With more than a third of the year passed by, two lightning deaths, one in Florida and another in Texas, have been reported so far.
This is coming off the lowest year for U.S. lightning deaths on record. In 2017, only 16 Americans died from lightning strikes, far lower than the roughly 40-50 person annual modern-day average. Last year also got off to a slow start to lightning deaths, with only two through the end of June.
There may be some links to a slower-than-average start to the severe weather season. Storms have been suppressed somewhat by a cool later winter and early spring pattern across the eastern half of the U.S., where the wide majority of thunderstorms occur. Overall severe weather and tornado counts are down so far in 2018 compared to seasonable averages.
That said, the peak months for thunderstorms are during the summer, so this number may increase significantly – though we certainly hope it stays low.
Remember, if you can hear thunder, that means you are close enough to be struck by lightning! Seek shelter as soon as you hear the thunder, and let’s collectively do our part to keep this number low.
Stay with WeatherNation for the latest on this.
For WeatherNation: Meteorologist Chris Bianchi