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 ~ National Lightning Safety Institute ~

Section 3.4

35 Years of Lightning Deaths and Injuries

In October 1997, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration published findings of some 35 years of USA lightning statistics. Fatalities, injuries, and damage were compiled for the years 1959-1994. We summarize the Report (1) as below:

1. Location of Incident:

40% Unreported.
27% Open fields & recreation areas (not golf).
14% Under trees (not golf).
8% Water-related (boating, fishing, swimming…).
5% Golf/golf under trees.
3% Heavy equipment and machinery-related.
2.4% Telephone-related.
0.7% Radio, transmitter & antenna-related.

2. Gender of victims = 84% male; 16% female.

3. Months of most incidents = June 21%, July 30%, Aug 22%.

4. Days of week of most incidents = Sun./Wed./Sat.

5. Time of day of most incidents = 2 PM to 6 PM.

6. Number of victims = One (91%), two or more (9%).

7. Deaths by State, Top Five = FL, MI, TX, NY, TN.

8. Injuries by State, Top Five = FL, MI, PA, NC, NY.

References:

Curran, Holle, & Lopez: 1997, Lightning Fatalities, Injuries and Damage Reports in the United States,1959-1994, NOAA Tech. Memo. No. NWS SR-193, October 1997.


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