Not to jinx anyone…….
Severe weather caused 333 deaths in the United States in 2014, according to the National Weather Service’s Summary of Natural Hazard Statistics for 2014.
That was the fewest in 22 years.
“Fortunately, the United States was again spared any major land falling tropical storms. There were no U.S. tropical storm related deaths in 2014,” according to the report.
The last time there were fewer “fatalities caused by severe weather” was in 1992, when 308 such deaths were recorded, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
“For the third consecutive year, weather-related deaths dropped significantly,” said the NOAA summary. NOAA reported 446 fatalities caused by severe weather in 2013 and 528 in 2012.
The 2014 number was also “below the 10-year average of 638 deaths,” the summary stated.
Twice as many males (67 percent) as females (30 percent) died from extreme weather conditions last year, according to NOAA.
Rip-currents caused the most severe weather-related fatalities (57) in 2014, followed by wind (54), tornadoes (47), cold (43), winter (41), lightning (26), heat (20), and hurricanes (zero).
A spokeswoman for NOAA told CNSNews.com that the fatality figures are a compilation of “weather-related deaths when we have weather warnings in place,” noting that they do not include all weather-related fatalities in the U.S.
NOAA data on deaths caused by lightning, tornadoes, floods and hurricanes go back to 1940. The agency added heat- and winter-related fatalities in 1986, and cold-related fatalities in 1988.
Two additional categories were added later: wind fatalities in 1996 and rip-current fatalities in 2002. However, even with the addition of these two categories, the 333 deaths in 2014 were still the fewest since 1992.
These 333 deaths cause by severe weather included 20 excessive-heat-related fatalities, including 12 in Nevada. That was down from 92 excessive-heat-related fatalities in 2013.
There were 43 cold-related and 41 winter-related deaths in 2014. These included those caused by winter storms, ice and avalanches. IIllinois had with the highest cold-related death toll (21).
The NOAA spokeswoman said that 48 percent of the winter-related fatalities involved vehicular accidents caused by ice and winter storms.
The National Weather Service (NWS) issues excessive heat warnings “when the maximum heat index is expected to be 105 degrees or higher for at least two days and night time air temperatures will not drop below 75 degrees.”
Extreme cold warnings are based on the windchill index, defined as “a combination of ambient temperatures at or below 40 F and wind speeds greater than or equal to 3 mph that can lead to dangerous hypothermia and/or frostbite conditions.”
The 20 heat-related fatalities in 2014 were far below their 10-year average of 124. The number of deaths in 2014 from other weather-related causes such as tornadoes, floods and hurricanes were also all below their 10-year averages.