Alabama records its first lightning fatality of 2022
A man in his 30s was killed on July 9th in Escambia County
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - A recent string of lightning-related deaths has pushed the total to six in the U.S. for the year. The most recent fatality occurred in southern Alabama.
On July 9th, Greg Shipp, a man in his 30s, was killed while floating down a creek in Brewton.
The other five fatalities this year have occurred in California, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, and Ohio. Five of the six victims were male. All six victims were between the ages of 33 and 52.
The activities the victims were doing range from walking dogs to loading tools into a van to fixing a truck to being on the beach.
Five of the six deaths have happened in July, putting the U.S. on pace to have more than its average of eight lightning-related fatalities for the month. For the year, though, the U.S. is running below normal. On average, there are about 11 lightning fatalities by mid-July.
The current pace in the U.S. would place 2022 toward the bottom for total number of lightning fatalities. So long as the current pace is maintained through the end of the year.
Just last year we had the record lowest number of lightning fatalities with 11. The hope is to beat that number this year and continue the overall downward trend in lightning deaths.
If you hear thunder or see lightning in the distance you are close enough to be struck. In fact, lightning can strike 10 miles away from a thunderstorm. Lightning can even strike while it’s sunny over your location!
If lightning is threatening, it’s imperative to seek adequate shelter indoors. Lightning typically strikes the tallest object around, but that isn’t always the case. So even if there are trees or tall objects around, you are not safe being outdoors.
For more information on everything lightning, check out this story by Meteorologist Tyler Sebree.
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