Weather Buzz

Lightning strike deaths are climbing in 2016

An active spring thunderstorm season has contributed to more thunderstorms and as a result, more lightning.

Most of the thunderstorm activity this year has been concentrated across the South — think of all the flooding and severe weather stories we’ve heard so far this year.

Lightning doesn’t make a storm severe, but it can be a deadly side effect to any thunderstorm. And with more lightning, there’s a greater chance to be struck and killed.

Five people have already died from lightning strikes this year — two in Florida, two in Louisiana and one in Mississippi. All but one of those victims were enjoying leisure activities outside, too.

Five may not seem like a big number, but that’s higher than last year. Only three people had been struck and killed at the end of the first week of May 2015.

In the last ten years, an average of 31 people have died every year from lightning strikes.

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That number has been trending down during that same time mostly thanks to education and outreach.

Thunder and lightning will only become more common over a larger portion of the United States as we make our way through spring and into summer, and staying inside is the only place truly safe being struck.

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