Most Lightning Prone States

Florida is one of the most lightning-prone states in the country. Lightning strikes killed 26 people in the United States in 2015. The peak months for lightning strikes in the country are June, July, and August, and this is when the majority of deaths occur. The southeast states are the most vulnerable to lightning strikes because the conditions for thunderstorm formation are ideal, with frigid air from the west meeting warm air from the Gulf of Mexico.

Lightning Prone States
Lightning Prone States

Top Five Most Lightning Prone US States


With an average of 25.3 lightning strikes per square mile, Florida is the most lightning-prone state in the United States. With an average of 1.45 million lightning strikes each year, the state has the highest amount of lightning strikes in the country. More than 62 individuals have been killed by lightning strikes in the last decade. The high amount of lightning strikes is due to the state’s location. Florida is positioned between the Atlantic and Gulf coasts, and the mix of sea breezes and tropical heat and humidity makes for ideal thunderstorm conditions.


Louisiana sees an average of 0.942 million lightning strikes each year. While Oklahoma has a larger annual number of lightning strikes, Louisiana is rated second in the United States due to the high intensity of strikes; 20.3 strikes per square mile. Lightning strikes have killed nine people in Louisiana in the previous ten years. According to some meteorologists, four of the deaths happened in 2016, which was one of the worst years in recent memory.


In July 2018, a church in Mississippi that had been standing for approximately two centuries caught fire after being struck by lightning. The mediaeval church was destroyed by a lightning strike, one of more than 0.856 million registered per year in the third-most lightning-prone state in the country. Mississippi has an annual average of 18 lightning strikes per square mile. Over the last decade, lightning strikes have killed ten people in the state.


Alabama has one of the greatest lightning risks in the United States. In Alabama, around 0.824 million lightning strikes are registered each year, amounting to approximately 15.9 lightning strikes per square mile. Lightning strikes have killed 17 people in Alabama in the last ten years, which is more than the number of fatalities in Mississippi and Louisiana over the same time period. Alabama is one of the worst states in the country for lightning kills.

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South Carolina/ Oklahoma

With 14.6 strikes per square mile per year, Oklahoma and South Carolina are tied for the fifth-most lightning-prone state in the United States. However, the total number of strikes reported each year in Oklahoma is more, with over 1.017 million recorded each year, compared to over 0.451 million recorded in South Carolina each year. South Carolina has experienced the greatest traffic fatalities of the two states, with 12 people killed in incidents during the previous decade. In comparison, Oklahoma had only four fatal strikes over the same time period.

Deadliest States in Lightning Fatalities

In the United States, Florida and Louisiana are the states most prone to lightning strikes. The two states are also the most deadliest in terms of lightning kills. Since 1959, 142 people have been killed by lightning strikes in Louisiana, whereas 477 people have died in Florida over the same time period. The high number of deaths in the two states, according to scientists, is linked to the lightning season, which coincides with a period of increased outdoor activity.

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