Current Moon Phase

Waxing Gibbous
54% of full

Farmers Almanac
The 2014 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

Lightning Fatalities: Good News and Bad News

Lightning Fatalities: Good News and Bad News

Mother Nature can throw just about anything at us. Sometimes we have plenty of time to prepare (hurricanes and blizzards), and other times we have to react in moments (tornadoes). The results can be devastating/catastrophic. But, we can track storms more accurately, and we can have plans should the inevitable happen. Then there are deaths due to lightning strikes. In the 2012 Farmers’ Almanac we shared the experience of lightning survivors, in some cases struck twice and lived to tell about it.

John Jensenius works with the Nation Weather Service in Gray, Maine. He has made it his cause to help educate people about lightning safety. At one time the average number of deaths from strikes in the US was 76. In the last 20 years, that average has dropped to 53, and it continues to decline.

Lightning Fatalities By Month

2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 NORMAL
Jan. 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0
Feb. 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0
Mar. 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 1
Apr. 1 2 0 0 1 0 1 3 2
May 5 0 1 4 2 2 5 5 6
June 2 3 5 7 12 9 12 10 12
July 6 13 9 11 10 14 10 16 16
Aug. 4 6 6 4 3 0 9 7 12
Sept. 3 2 4 2 4 1 5 4 5
Oct. - 1 1 1 1 0 2 2 1
Nov. - 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Dec. - 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Year 21* 28 26 29 34 28 45 48 54

* Year to date

While fatalities started quickly this year, it looks like we might see a record low. Clearly, we have made progress in reducing the number of deaths. I credit, John, the National Weather Service and NOAA for education efforts.

Sports teams have instituted safety policies, such as not allowing play to start for at least half an hour after the last lightning has been viewed. We have all become more sensitive to strikes and that anything can happen. For the most part, deaths occur when someone hides under a tree trying to escape a storm.

Remember, if there is a storm, stay indoors if at all possible. Here is a link to ways to remain safe during lightning storms.

0 comments

There are no comments yet...

Kick things off by filling out the form below.

Leave a Comment

Note: Comments that further the discussion of the above content are likely to be approved. Those comments that are vague or are simply submitted in order to promote a product, service or web site, although not necessarily considered "spam," are generally not approved.

If you notice a hole in the upper left-hand corner of your Farmers' Almanac, don't return it to the store! That hole isn't a defect; it's a part of history. Starting with the first edition of the Farmers' Almanac in 1818, readers used to nail holes into the corners to hang it up in their homes, barns, and outhouses (to provide both reading material and toilet paper). In 1910, the Almanac's publishers began pre-drilling holes in the corners to make it even easier for readers to keep all of that invaluable information (and paper) handy.