Struck by lightning: What are the odds?

(NewsNation) — After two people died in a strong thunderstorm near the White House Thursday, the nation is on alert to the dangers of lightning strikes.

Experts say being hit by lightning is extremely rare in the United States, but strikes overall are on the rise.

Roughly 40 million lightning bolts touch down in the country every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – with the odds of being struck less than 1 in a million.

Less than 250 people are injured by lightning every year, according to the National Weather Service. And a little bit more than 10% of those people actually die as a result.

Among those who are hit, about 90% survive the ordeal, the CDC says. The country counted 444 deaths from lightning strikes from 2006 through 2021.

According to the NWS, a person has a 1-in-15,300 chance of getting struck by lightning in their lifetime.

It’s said you are four times more likely to get a perfect score on your SAT than getting struck by lightning.

Texas and Florida were the states with the highest count of lightning in 2021 and therefore present the highest risk of being struck.

Not a single person has been killed by a lightning strike in Washington state and New Hampshire in the last 15 years,

Scientists say that climate change is increasing the likelihood of lightning strikes across the U.S.

Lightning is hotter than the surface of the sun and can reach temperatures around 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

Although most lightning occurs in the summer, people can be struck at any time of year, according to the NWS.

The NWS warns there is no safe place outside when thunderstorms are in the area so, “When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors.

Reuters contributed to this report.


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