July is the most active month of lightning fatalities in the U.S. and July 2012 may be one of the deadliest yet.
Lightning deaths across the U.S. average 54 per year according to NOAA. Most of the fatal lightning strikes occur between the months of May and October.
Eight people have been killed by lightning between July 3 to 16, 2012. The most people killed by lightning in the month of July over the past five years was 14 in 2008.
There have been 14 deaths from lightning strikes in the U.S. so far this year.
During the weekend of July 13-15, 2012, three people were killed when they were struck by lightning after seeking shelter under trees.
Friday, in Peachtree City, Ga., 52-year-old Burnette Hayes was killed by lightning during a fishing trip. He was under a tree by the boat ramp at the time of the accident.
Three men on a soccer field in Harris County, Texas, sought shelter under a tree when a thunderstorm approached on Sunday. Lightning hit the tree and the men. One man died instantly, a second man died after being transported to the hospital and the third man is hospitalized and stable, according to Fox News.
Also on Sunday, during the Whitby Ribfest event in Durham, Canada, 17 people were injured when lightning struck the food service tent. Fortunately, there were no fatalities, according to thestar.com.
The NOAA slogan of "When thunder roars, go indoors," could have prevented these injuries and deaths.
If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to a storm to be struck by lightning. Go inside and remain inside until at least 30 minutes after the last thunder clap.
To be protected from the lightning, seek shelter in a building with enclosed walls, a floor and a roof. A pavilion without walls will not provide protection from lightning.
Lightning Facts and Safety:
Heavy rain returning to the northern Plains will generate a renewed flood threat for the Red River.
More than 20 tornadoes were reported by the National Weather Service with hundreds of hail and wind reports Sunday afternoon through Sunday night.
Several tornadoes touched down from Oklahoma to Iowa, including near Wichita, Kan., and Oklahoma City, on Sunday.
Severe storms may erupt from Oklahoma to Wisconsin on Monday as the storm system that spawned several tornadoes across the Plains on Saturday and Sunday shifts slowly to the east.
A slow-moving storm resulted in a week of below-normal temperatures that will likely continue into the week.
Smoke from fires in the Yucatan Peninsula will continue to affect parts of Texas and Louisiana for the first part of the week.
Patuxent River, MD (1996)
Tornado has 70 mile long track that ends in Kansas City suburb. 48 people died.
Ft. Myers, FL (1985)
A hospital and several homes were evacuated due to brush fires.