More lightning deaths seen in US during summer months

Lightning strike survivors can be left with long-term health effects

Lightning strikes near a beach in Clearwater on July 14, 2021. (Clearwater Police Department)

ORLANDO, Fla. – Summer is here and that means school is out and more people are outside enjoying the warmest time of the year. But with that also comes summer storms that pack plenty of lightning.

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Every year, around 20 people die from lightning strikes in the United States and hundreds more are injured. More people are struck and have died in the June, July and August months.

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July is the most active time for people to be outside, especially with the July Fourth holiday. After lightning safety specialists took a 10-year average of lightning strikes frequency, they found around eight people are killed by lightning during this month. The second month with the highest average number of deaths is August and the third is June, with around five and four deaths during those months respectively.

This a ten year break down to show lightning strike fatalities in the United States. More men are struck than women on average. (National Lightning Safety Council)

From 2012-2022 a total of 233 people were killed as a result of lightning. To break down that number in more detail, the National Lightning Safety Council shows that amounted to 50 women and 183 men.

On Wednesday, the first lightning fatality this year was reported south of Los Angeles. According to the NLSC, a woman was out walking her two dogs along a riverbed when she was struck and killed. The two dogs were also struck and died. Lightning records show this was the first lightning death in California since July 2021 when a hiker was struck and killed in Fresno County. A total of nine people have died as a result of lightning strikes in California since 2006. Survivors are encouraged to reach out for support.

This comes after two children, 12 and 15, were hospitalized after being struck by lightning in Merritt Island on June 10.

The only state to have a lightning death this year is California. This does not include people injured from lightning that survived (National Lightning Safety Council)

About the Author:

Emmy Award Winning Meteorologist Samara Cokinos joined the News 6 team in September 2017. In her free time, she loves running and being outside.