As a kid we loved storms, we loved storms so much that every time there was one we would get out the tents and sleep outside. Or sometimes a bunch of us would sleep outside on a open balcony or porch. It was almost an expectation between me and my group of friends. How could we not? And it really didn’t matter to us what kind of storm it was either, thunderstorm, snowstorm, any storm would do. Looking back, now that I’m old and feeble lol, I guess the main attraction to storms as a kid was the potential for danger. In fact, looking back, I see myself doing a lot of potentially dangerous things that I probably wouldn’t even attempt now, in fact I know I wouldn’t.
According to the National Weather Service thunderstorms kill an average of 93 people each year in the US, and cause over 300 injuries. ” Despite their small size…all thunderstorms are dangerous. Every thunderstorm produces lightning…which kills more people each year than tornadoes. ” Maybe we should revamp that old saying about the likelihood of getting hit by lightning to likelihood of getting killed by a tornado. Before I looked it up I wasn’t aware that thunderstorms killed more people than tornadoes. And that doesn’t even include the 140 deaths resulting because of flash floods caused by thunderstorms. Tornadoes by contrast kill 80 people a year, but do cause a significant amount of more injuries ( 1500 ).
The worst snowstorm was in 1972 when an area the size of Wisconsin was covered in up to 26 feet in snow causing 4000 deaths. The truly amazing thing about that storm was where it occurred. It happened in, of all places, Iran. And not even northern Iran, it happened in southern Iran. Cripes I never even knew it snowed in Iran. Apparently most of the people who died, died from being buried alive.
Even though I no longer grab a tent and get together with friends to brave the elements when a storm hits, I still, to this day, am fascinated by storms. And I have more than a few stories about my own personal experience with them. Like the time I slept through a tornado, that went by just on other side of the highway from the motel I was in. Or like the time I was in the Ice Storm of 1998. Reportedly the worst Ice Storm on record. I was in Saint John, NB at the time, and power was out for 3 days, which admittedly was much better than some… some, in more remote regions, were without power for a month.
( images courtesy of sciencemag.org and farmersalmanac.com )