I see strange statistics all the time and most of the time there's a rhyme and reason for them. In this case, I'm mystified why Missouri is a top 10 state for lightning fatalities. What gives?

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Before we try to figure out why, this lightning fatality data comes courtesy of the Lightning Safety Council. They have tabulated all of the lightning deaths over the past 10 years and this is the map showing the states where you're most likely to meet your end via a bolt of electricity out of the sky.

Infographic, Lightning Safety Council
Infographic, Lightning Safety Council

I have done my own additional research and believe I know what's going on here. Are Missourians more reckless than other states when thunderstorms are nearby? I don't believe that. I found an interesting graph from Statista. They collected data on the number of lightning strikes over the last year and guess what? Missouri had the 6th most lightning strikes in America over the last year. So, if anything, Missourians are more cautious when storms are around. It just so happens there are way more of them than almost any state not named Texas. By their calculations, Missouri has had 7,691 lightning strikes in the past year.

Think this could never happen to you? The Lightning Safety Council estimates your chance of being struck by lightning in your lifetime is a mere 1 in 18,043. That's a higher chance than I would have imagined so I think I'll be playing it safe next time the weather geniuses warn of an approaching thunderstorm.

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