10 Places You’re Most Likely to Be Struck by Lightning in the U.S.

Lightning can heat the air it passes through to 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit


In a typical year, the U.S. is zapped by more than 22 million lightning strikes that kill an average of 47 people and severely injure more than 400, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).[slideshow:102308]

Lightning is a major cause of storm related deaths in the U.S. Still, the odds of being struck are one in over a million. However, the odd if being struck once in your lifetime are much bigger – one in 13,500.

Don’t risk it and avoid open areas and tall objects. Seek shelter in buildings and remain inside at least half an hour after hearing the last thunder. Also, stay away from isolated tall trees, towers or utility poles. Lightning tends to strike the taller objects in an area. Don’t be near metal conductors such as wires or fences. Metal does not attract lightning, but lightning can travel long distances through it.

The world’s absolute lightning hotspot, according to NASA, is the middle of Venezuela’s Lake Maracaibo. Satellite data suggest that one particular square kilometer there—on the northern tip of South America—gets zapped more than 200 times per year.

The following list is based on data from the National Lightning Safety Institute (NLSI), NOAA, and from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

Click here to see the 10 places in the U.S. where you’re most likely to be struck by lightning

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