Chances of lightning strike highest in summer

Nearly 2,000 people have died from lightning strikes since the U.S. started keeping records in 1940.

In the early 1940s, 300-400 people died from lightning strikes each year. Now, through the last 30 years, that number is down to about 50 people per year.

Part of the reason for the steep decline is education and outreach. This week is part of that outreach, "Lightning Safety Awareness Week."


Seventy percent of lightning strikes happen in June, July and August.

That's because more lightning strikes occur during those months and more people are outside during that time.

Seven people have already died from lightning strikes this year.


Not every lightning strike victim dies, but many experience long-term problems with their brain and nervous systems, lasting a lifetime.

Some of these long-term issues include the following: trouble multi-tasking, processing new information, chronic headaches and other pains, difficulty sleeping, changes in personality and depression.

A lot of these ailments have no cure, which means it comes down to victims learning to live with their symptoms.

That's why the best medicine is prevention.

When a thunderstorm is near, it's best to be inside. Less than 1 percent of lightning strike victims are inside.

While inside, avoid electronics, electrical equipment and plumbing.

Stay inside for at least 30 minutes after the last lightning strike. If this is done, it's possible the average number of lightning strike deaths will continue to drop.

Follow Storm Shield Meteorologist Jason Meyers via the Storm Shield app on twitter, @StormShieldApp and Facebook. Download the Storm Shield Weather Radio App for your iPhone or Android device and get severe weather alerts wherever you are.

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