Each year, 51 people are killed and hundreds more are injured by lightning in the United States, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).
Two-thirds of those deaths occur while people are engaging in outdoor leisure activities, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Lightning Safety Specialist John Jensenius. Fishing tops the list of activities people are involved in when they are struck fatally by lightning, with three times more deaths resulting from fishing than golfing.
It's crucial to have a plan when headed outdoors and to stay alert to rapidly changing weather conditions.
AccuWeather.com MinuteCast™ has the minute-by-minute forecast for your exact location when showers and thunderstorms threaten. Type your city name, select MinuteCast™, and input your street address. On mobile, you can also use your GPS location.
The NWS has declared that June 22-28 is lightning safety awareness week. Information for the infographic above was provided by the NWS.
Lightning deaths are most common during the summer months due to the highest frequency of thunderstorms coinciding with a time when people spend more time outdoors.
"The plethora of summer thunderstorms is the result of the influx of warm, moist air that is usually not present in the cooler months," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski said. "The atmosphere is always trying to find a balance and thunderstorms are nature's air conditioners on a hot and humid summer day."
2. Go inside a substantial building with plumbing and electricity. Open gazebos or pavilions are not safe alternatives for shelter, while an enclosed metal-topped vehicle with all the windows shut is safe.
3. When inside, stay away from any equipment with running electricity, including a corded phone, computer or TV.
4. Stay away from plumbing, including sinks, baths and faucets.
5. Avoid windows and doors and stay off porches.
6. Do not lie on concrete floors and avoid leaning against concrete walls.
If you are caught outside and there are no safe areas for shelter nearby, see the tips below to reduce your risk of being struck.
2. Never lie flat on the ground.
3. Do not seek shelter under an isolated tree.
4. Stay away from bodies of water, including ponds and lakes.
5. Avoid anything that can conduct electricity, including barbed wire fences, power lines and windmills.
Content contributed by AccuWeather Staff Writer Michael Kuhne.
Image Thumbnail: Lightning strikes the water near Dock Street in Cedar Key, Fla., on July 7, 2012. (bonishphotography/iStock Editorial/Thinkstock)
Storms could ruin outdoor activities across the Southeast, upper Great Lakes, Missouri Valley and the Four Corners while dry conditions will prevail across the rest of the nation on Labor Day.
Temperatures will be a few degrees below average across the UK this weekend, but largely dry conditions are expected.
After no rain for almost a month, Santiago braces for rain early in the week. Cool air follows, spreading into Chile, Argentina and Uruguay mid-week.
There is a significant chance that Jimena will turn back toward Hawaii and threaten the islands during the second week of September.
An unusually strong push of cool air for early September will move southward along the Atlantic Seaboard through the Labor Day weekend before July-like heat returns by next week.
Steering winds could take Ignacio, as a remnant storm, into the southeastern arm of Alaska or British Columbia during the middle days of next week.
Flint, MI (1985)
Major flooding occurred in four counties surrounding Flint when a foot of rain fell. Twelve lives were lost, and 63 dollars worth of property was damaged.
Yellowstone Nat'l Park, WY (1988)
Forest fires due to prolonged drought. 1.6 million acres were torched.
Maryville, MO (1898)
12-inch layer of hail. Lanes in fields were still closed 2 weeks later and ice cream was made from ice removed from the fields 4 weeks later.