The National Weather Service records the number of lightning strike fatalities that occur in the United States every year. In 2021, ten fatalities from lightning strikes were reported as of September.
While there are only a handful of lightning fatalities every year, there seems to be an interesting trend when it comes to the location of the lightning strikes.
The National Weather Service data shows that all the people killed by lightning strikes were outdoors at the moment of their untimely demise. They died while they were involved in recreational activities and the most common activities were beach activities.
Out of the ten lightning strike fatalities of 2021, five people died while they were at the beach. One person was struck in the water while another was involved in lifeguarding.
Lightning strike fatalities also occurred while people were hiking, golfing, or involved in construction.
According to the CDC, lightning casualties are highest in the summer with July being the month of greatest risk. Most lightning casualties also tend to occur in the afternoon between noon and 6 pm.
People who work outside and engage in outdoor recreational activities are at the greatest risk for lightning strike casualties.
The CDC has found that a third of lightning strike deaths occur on farms. However, the 2021 data seems to indicate that the beach can be just as dangerous.
Three of the 2021 lightning strike fatalities took place in Florida. This gives credence to Florida's status as the lightning capital of the United States.
If you are outdoors during a lightning strike, the best safety tip is to go indoors or seek shelter immediately.