Severe Weather Awareness Week: 9 things to know about lightning

ORLANDO, Fla. — Severe Weather Awareness Week in Florida is officially underway.


The week is observed each year by the National Weather Service and Florida Division of Emergency Management to increase awareness and preparedness for severe weather and related hazards.

Each day focuses on a different weather event Florida experiences. Monday is lightning awareness.

READ: 1 child injured, another missing after lightning strike near rowing practice on Lake Fairview

Read 9 things to know about lightning and lightning strikes below:

  • Lightning can reach 50,000 degrees, and is hotter than the surface of the sun.
  • Although each year is different, NOAA estimates an average of 20 people die in the U.S. from lightning each year.
  • NOAA estimates that most lightning deaths in the US are male, at 79%.

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  • NOAA estimates that most US lightning deaths happen during leisure activities, more than work and daily routine activities.
  • While many believe people die from lightning are golfing, fishermen are four times more likely to be the victim of lightning-related fatalities than golfers.
  • All thunderstorms produce lightning, which may strike as far as 10 miles away from the storm’s heavy rainfall.
  • If you see someone struck by lightning, you can help them as they won’t carry an electric charge. NOAA recommends helping by calling 9-1-1, administering CPR, and using an automatic external defibrillator if available. Cardiac arrest is often the immediate cause of death for those that die.

READ: Lightning in Central Florida: How to protect yourself

  • in 2022, the state of Texas had the most lightning flashes while the state of Florida had the highest number of flashes per square kilometer (lightning density), according to Vaisala XWeather.
  • in 2022, Four Corners, FL was the lightning Capital of the U.S., with the highest number of flashes per square kilometer, according to Vaisala XWeather.

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Adam Poulisse, WFTV.com

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.