The Randomness Of Lightning Fatalities: A Map Story

A lightning bolt. i
A lightning bolt.

Lightning strikes somewhere on Earth about 100 times per second, equaling 8.6 million times per day and more than 3 billion times a year. The odds of being struck by lightning, however, are extremely slim, and smaller still are the odds of that strike being fatal; only 1 in 10 strikes results in death.

A tragic strike can happen anytime and anywhere — and it does. People who are near water are more susceptible. Most victims are male.The month of July is particularly dangerous.

Though American lifestyle changes in the past century have contributed to a fall in fatalities, the advice from the National Weather Service is still the same, common-sense solution it's been for years: "React quickly to the threat and get to a safe place," says John Jensenius, lightning safety specialist with the NWS.

All in all, 35 men, women and children of all ages have been killed in lightning-related incidents in the past 18 months in the U.S. Place your cursor on one of the dots on the map below to read the story behind the statistic.



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