Lightning Deaths and Injuries, 1959-1994

Friday, Jan 01, 2010

Deaths and injuries per year (1994 and 30 year normal):

Lightning Fatalities, Injuries, and Damage Reports in the United States from 1959-1994, NOAA Scientific Services Division, October 1997, http://www.nssl.noaa.gov/papers/techmemos/NWS-SR-193/techmemo-sr193.html.

Lightning-related fatality, injury, and damage reports for the United States were summarized for 36 years since 1959, based on the NOAA publication Storm Data. There were 3239 deaths, 9818 injuries, and 19,814 property-damage reports from lightning during this period...

Florida led the nation in the actual number of deaths and injuries...

Casualties reached a sharper maximum in July, while damage reports were spread more evenly through the year...

National Lightning Detection Network data in recent years were used to estimate that one lightning casualty occurred for every 86,000 flashes in the US. A similar method results in one death for every 345,000 flashes, and an injury for every 114,000 flashes. A rate of 7.7 casualties per million people per 100 million flashes was found for the US...

Two-thirds of the casualties occurred between [12PM] and [4PM]...

For incidents involving deaths only, 91% of the cases had one fatality, while another 8% of the events had two people killed in the same incident...

Outdoor recreation was the next largest category in every region and for the US. The third largest group involved people located under trees, and the fourth was related to the proximity of victims to bodies of water. Although it is sometimes thought that golfers are frequent victims of lightning, they trail the preceding groups in frequency. There were not many lightning victims involved in agricultural activities. Telephones were an infrequent but persistent source of casualties, while people in proximity to radios and antennas were the least frequent category...

Lightning Fatalities, Injuries, and Damage Reports in the United States from 1959-1994, NOAA Scientific Services Division, October 1997, http://www.nssl.noaa.gov/papers/techmemos/NWS-SR-193/techmemo-sr193-13.html.