How Many People Have Been Struck by Lightning In New York State?
Do you really have a better chance getting struck by lightning than winning the lottery? The Centers For Disease Control says that around 40 million lightning strikes hit the ground in the United States each year. However, the data says the odds of being struck are less than 1 in a million.
But the CDC goes on to say that certain factors, such as being involved in a number of outdoor activities can increase your risk of being struck. Also, the region of the country can greatly matter as well.
*** Update 7/2023: According to WROC, three construction workers were struck by lightning in the town of Lincoln, NY in late July. A 39-year-old NY man died from his injuries, according to the Madison county Sheriff's Office. ***
*** Update: PIX11 says that two people were struck by lightning at Coney Island Beach the morning of July 4.
A construction worker was struck by lightning while sheltering from a storm July 4 in the Town of Mamskating. A firefighter in Woodbourne was struck June 26, after touching a metal hitch.
On August 4 the NY State DEC says that 34-year-old from Pennsylvania and a 44-year-old from Syracuse were camping in a tent at the base of a tree struck by lightning; the lightning hit the pair, as well.***
How likely are you to being hit by lightning in New York state?
Lighting Strike Sets Tree on Fire in the Hudson Valley
The Croton-on-Hudson Fire Department shared some pictures on their Facebook page of a tree at Croton Park that was struck Wednesday during a storm. The fire department said they were at the scene for about 40 minutes, putting out the blaze.
Summer is New York's stormiest time of year, as the chance for thunderstorms producing lightning increases due to the hot, humid days. But just how many New Yorkers have been struck through the years?
NYC.gov says that New York State is considered to have a "moderate" occurrence of lightning, with 3.8 strikes occurring per square mile each year.
You can view Weather Bug's Lightning Map for New York HERE.
Lightning Fatalities in New York
The National Weather Service says that while states in the south like Florida, Texas, and North Carolina rank the highest, New York was 7th for lightning related fatalities from 1959 to 2016, with 143 reported deaths.
The CDC breaks down more recent data from 2006 to 2021, reiterating the dangers of lightning while in New York. The New York Times says that a 13-year-old boy was fatality struck by lightning while at Bronx Beach in 2021.
One huge factor to consider is the amount of trees that are within the state. New York.gov says that the state is 61% forested, and that forests cover 18.6 million acres of our 30.2 million total acres. of course, we know that trees and other tall objects can serve as lightning rods during a storm.
Also, many people are outdoors during the summer at the lake, beach, hiking trail, or golf course, which can also potentially put you in harm's way during a storm.