The National Weather Service (NWS) just released the most recent lightning statistics, and there is some good news. The number of deaths are way down.
I have added a few graphics so you can see that there were no fatalities across the Heartland. However, the neighboring state of Colorado did have deaths this year. It's not unusual for the Centennial state to experience lightning fatalities since it has one of the highest numbers of lightning deaths in the U.S.
Here are some of the stats according to the NWS Storm Data, over the last 30 years (1987-2016) the U.S. has averaged 47 reported lightning fatalities per year. Its report shows that only 10% of people who are struck by lightning are killed, which means that 90% have varying degrees of disability. More recently, in the last 10 years (2007-2016), the U.S. has averaged 30 lightning fatalities.
So why are this years numbers so low? Lightning safety could certainly be a factor.
Since we still have nearly three months left in the year, and storms are likely the next couple of days, here are some things to keep in mind:
Be aware of changing weather conditions.
Have a lightning safety plan, and cancel or postpone activities if thunderstorms are expected.
Get to a safe place before the weather becomes threatening. If you are outside, find a substantial building or hard-topped vehicle.
When inside, do not touch anything that is plugged into an electrical outlet. Cell phones are safe. Keep away from outside doors and windows.