This Is the Deadliest Type of Weather in the U.S., National Weather Service Says

These weather forecasts have the highest rate of fatalities.

Amid the excruciating heat waves across North America, it may be hard to picture any weather worse than that of sweltering summer. Unfortunately, you'd be right in thinking this weather can take a grim toll. In the Pacific Northwest alone, authorities are currently investigating more than 100 deaths that were likely caused by the blistering temperatures seen in Canada, Oregon, and Washington over the past few weeks. Given that the hottest days on record typically fall between July and August, this number will almost certainly grow as the summer progresses. However, extreme heat is just one of the deadliest types of weather our nation sees every year, as the current threat of Tropical Storm Elsa reminds us.

In a recent National Weather Service (NWS) report compiled in coordination with the Office of Services and the National Climatic Data Center, the organization ranked the nine most dangerous types of weather, revealing a surprising number of fatalities associated with each in 2020. Read on to find out which types of weather—from extreme cold to tornadoes—were deadliest last year.

RELATED: Never Drink This During a Heat Wave, Experts Warn.

9
Cold

iStock

Number of fatalities it caused in 2020: 13

8
Lightning

Flashes of lightning in the night sky. Lightning strike. Lightning near the factory. Night sky. Storm cloud. A flash of lightning. Industrial landscape before the storm - Image

Number of fatalities it caused in 2020: 17

RELATED: The CDC Warns You Should Never Do This in Your House During a Storm.

7
Hurricanes

Shutterstock

Number of fatalities it caused in 2020: 24

6
Winter

Car driving on icy winter road
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Number of fatalities it caused in 2020: 29

5
Heat

Woman drying sweat using a wipe in a warm summer day
iStock

Number of fatalities it caused in 2020: 51

4
Wind

Phuket. Strong storm wind sways the trees and breaks the leaves from the two palm trees. The street is heavy rain. The weather turned bad. Declared a storm warning
iStock

Number of fatalities it caused in 2020: 55

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3
Floods

iStock

Number of fatalities it caused in 2020: 57

RELATED: If You See This While Driving, Turn Around Immediately, CDC Says.

2
Rip Currents

rip current warning sign near ocean
Shutterstock

Number of fatalities it caused in 2020: 66

1
Tornadoes

tornado U.S. state 1990s-era news stories
Shutterstock

Number of fatalities it caused in 2020: 76

RELATED: This Is the Deadliest Road in America, According to Data.

Lauren Gray
Lauren Gray is a New York-based writer, editor, and consultant. Read more
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