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NWS warns deadliest months for lightning strikes ahead

Fatal strikes spike in June and July
Posted at 5:55 PM, Jun 27, 2016
Lightning struck and killed a woman Friday night in Daytona Beach.
 
It was the eighth lightning death so far in 2016. Half of them happened in Florida.
 
Over the past 10 years, June and July have been the deadliest months for lightning.
 
"It felt like somebody just picked you up and body slammed you. It happened so fast," Anne Nicarack said.
 
She survived Friday night’s lightning strike in Daytona Beach, but another woman wasn’t as fortunate. Janika Gardner, 33, died from her injuries.  
 
Your chance of getting struck is small but it’s such a high impact.
 
At Tampa’s National Weather Service location, meteorologist Dan Noah had the figures ready to show us. The past 10 years of data shows a spike in lightning fatalities in June and July.
 
An average of 17 deaths occur every year during the two-month period.
 
"You hear when thunder roars go indoors, well that means there's already been a lightning strike so you've waited too long," Noah said.
 
That’s why Noah thinks it’s usually the first lightning strike in an area that hits someone.
 
The safest move is to take cover when you see dark clouds.
 
In Daytona Beach, those impacted were standing in water, a very bad decision to make with an incoming storm.
 
"Water conducts electricity, so if lightning hits the water it can go a much further distance than if it just struck dry land," Noah told us.
 
The most active lightning area in the state according to the NWS is Downtown Tampa.
 
Also, over the past the 10 years, men are 60 percent more likely to get hit by lightning than women. Noah thinks that is mostly due to more men working outside.
 
For more information on how to keep yourself safe from lightning strikes click here.