National Lightning information


Lightning Statistics

In the United States:

  • 25 million cloud-to-ground lightning flashes each year

  • 5 times hotter than the sun

  • From 1959-2003: the US has recorded 3,696 lightning deaths, average of 85 per year

  • From 1959-1994: the US has recorded 9,818 lightning injuries, average of 280 per year

  • Florida and Texas have recorded the most lightning deaths

  • Alaska and Hawaii have recorded the least lightning deaths

In North Dakota

  • North Dakota ranks 44th nationwide in regards to lightning deaths

  • From 1959-2004, ND has recorded 12 lightning deaths

  • From 1959-2004, ND has recorded 33 lightning injuries

  • Lightning events in North Dakota

    • August 2, 1996: lightning struck a 12 unit condo in Dickinson. The condo burned to the ground causing $300,000 in damage and leaving 24 people homeless.

    • June 1, 1997: an 11 year old boy was injured by lightning while fishing near Elgin with his father

    • July 24, 1997: lightning struck near Rugby and killed 19 cattle huddled under a tree

    • July 5, 1998: lightning ignited a 400 gallon oil storage tank near Lignite in Burke county

    • July 11, 1998: lightning disrupted power services to 2,300 electrical customers in Minot

    • August 19, 2000: lightning started a fire in Harvey that destroyed a furniture store

    • August 26, 2000: smoke from a lightning induced prairie fire reduced visibilities to 1/2 mile on Interstate 94 near Sentinel Butte

    • June 27, 2001:  Lightning struck and killed a calf in the front yard of a ranch 16 miles southwest of Rhame. 

      Keep in mind: if you can hear thunder, you can be struck by lightning is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.