Some Good Weather News: Fewer People Dying from Lightning
Even though the numbers look better, lightning is still an underestimated killer. Scientists estimate we see about 16 million thunderstorms worldwide each year. More specifically, the U.S. averages about 22.5 million flashes of cloud-to-ground lightning in a given year. Also, consider a single bolt of lightning is hotter than the surface of the sun.
Most people survive lightning strikes. But it becomes deadly when the electrical charge crosses a victim's heart and causes breathing to stop. On average, 26 people die from this phenomenon annually. You compare this to when record keeping begin in 1940. Then, more than 300 people were killed. So why the big drop? One reason is more people actually spending less time outside. Also, the invention of the radar after World War II helped considerably in terms of storm location. And from this technology, people have a better idea where the storms are and are heading.
Finally, better awareness help drastically helped. Social media too has played a huge part. There's one catchy phrase many scientists rely on when spreading the word about lightning. It's "when thunder roars, go indoors!"
For more information about lightning safety, click on the attached link. It just might save your life.