America’s No. 1 Weather Killer Is Not Tornadoes, Flooding, Lightning or Hurricanes
At a Glance
- Excessive heat claims over 100 lives in an average year in the U.S.
- It’s particularly dangerous for the elderly living in large cities without air conditioning.
- One heat wave in the 1990s claimed over 1,000 lives.
Extreme heat is responsible for more weather-related deaths in the U.S. in an average year than any other hazard.
Excessive heat claimed an average of 138 lives per year in the U.S. from 1990 through 2019, according to NOAA. That’s higher than the average annual death tolls from flooding (88), tornadoes (65), hurricanes or tropical storms (45) and lightning (41) in that 30-year period.
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