Lightning is one of the most underrated severe weather hazards, yet ranks as the second-leading weather killer in the United States. More deadly than hurricanes or tornadoes, lightning strikes in America kill an average of 49 people and injure hundreds of others each year, according to NOAA’s National Weather Service.
Florida has more thunderstorms than any other area of the United States. Thunderstorms affect relatively small areas when compared to hurricanes, but they occur much more frequently. The typical thunderstorm is 15 miles in diameter and lasts an average of 30 minutes. Nearly 1,800 thunderstorms are occurring at any moment around the world.
Despite their small size, all thunderstorms are dangerous. Every thunderstorm produces lightning, which kills more people each year than tornadoes. Heavy rain from thunderstorms can lead to flash flooding. Strong winds (straight-line winds or downbursts), hail and tornadoes are also dangers associated with some thunderstorms.