The United States has a greater variety of weather than any other country in the world.
It experiences tornadoes, hurricanes, heat waves and blizzards all within a year.
Since weather is always happening, each season provides its own challenges, and summer can be particularly deadly. And the deadliest weather phenomena comes as a surprise to most because it isn't big, flashy storms that make headlines.
Instead, the deadliest weather of summer comes in the form of lightning, floods and heat.
There's a reason more people are struck by lightning during the months of June, July and August. In fact, there are two.
Most thunderstorms with cloud to ground lightning occur during the warmest months of the year. Florida, not surprisingly, is home to the most thunderstorms and therefore, the most lightning.
Also during the summer months, people spend more time outside.
The majority of those lightning strike deaths are from people just enjoying time outside. And most of them are young men.
In the last 30 years, floods have killed more people on average than hurricanes or tornadoes.
People underestimate the power of water and its destructive power.
Fortunately, deaths from flooding have been dropping over the last 10 to 20 years. Most of that can be attributed to public education.
The National Weather Service began keeping track of heat-related deaths in the mid-1980s. Since then, the heat has killed more people than lightning, flooding, hurricanes or tornadoes.
Heat-related illnesses typically begin slowly and build over time. The earliest symptoms are usually a minor headache or being thirsty.
No matter what the weather holds over the summer, it's important to pay attention to the forecast and prepare yourself for whatever the day may hold.
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