Ask Storm Team 11: Lightning deaths

Weather

Tuesday’s Ask Storm Team 11 question was: “How many people have died this year from lightning?”

Lightning is sparked thanks to the attraction between positive and negative charges in the atmosphere. When the two charges meet up, an electrical current moves along an irregular path and you see lightning.

As lightning strikes the ground, it can be dangerous and even deadly.

So far in 2020, 8 people have been struck and killed by lightning in the U.S. Last year, 20 people died in the U.S.

The 10-year average going back to 2010 is 26 deaths per year in the U.S. with many more injuries.

Four people have died in Tennessee since 2010 and two people have died in Virginia from lightning.

Lightning is one of the biggest storm threats during the summer months.

According to research from the National Lightning Safety Council, between 2006 and 2019, nearly two-thirds of lightning deaths occur during recreational activities, especially those related to water and sports.

Meanwhile, 16 percent of deaths happen during a daily routine like walking to and from a vehicle and nearly 20 percent of deaths happen while someone is at work.

Lightning is nothing to mess around with so when you hear thunder, you’re close enough to get struck, and you should seek shelter immediately.

Have a question for Storm Team 11? Click here to submit!

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