Devouring tornadoes gulping up everything on their path. Damaging hurricanes with winds up to 100 miles per hour. Severe thunderstorms along with dangerous flash floodings. These are just a few examples of how severe the weather can get in the United States. While such descriptions do not make pretty pictures, determining the deadliest weather related areas of the United States may prove to be a difficult task especially because several factors come into play.
A look Back into History
The deadliest US. Hurricane according to The National Hurricane Center results to be Hurricane Great Galvatone in Texas, leaving behind at least 8000 victims in 1900. With winds over 100 miles per hour, this hurricane produced a 20 foot storm surge which caused it to totally submerge the island of Galveston. Even here, as devestating as this hurricane may sound, one must also consider the fact that at that time, weather predictions were not as accurate as today. As a matter of fact, at that time weather reports were carried by ships which were only available once the ship was in the harbor.
The deadliest tornado in the U.S. history occurred in the tri-state region composed by Illinios, Indiana and Missouri on March 18th 1925 with 695 deaths and 2027 injuries. The tornado was classified as an F5 on the Fujita scale and started in Ellington Missouri and dissipated in Princeton leaving behind high death tolls and a lot od destruction.
The most deadly heat wave occurred in 1980 when the midwestern United States was afflicted by drought and oppriment heat causing the death of at least 1700 people. It is estimated that this heat wave caused deaths nationwide amounting between 10,000-15,000.
Cold has been reported to be the deadliest weather hazard to Americans. However, even in this case, the data derived is questionable. There are conflicting claims deriving from CDC and the National Climatic Data Center. According to CDC data, extreme cold has been reported to cause the death of at least 16,313 people between the years of 1979-2002.
The deadliest flood took place in Johnstown, Pa on May 31 st 1889. The death toll reached 2,200. The flood caused the South Fork Dam to collapse after very heavy rainfalls.
When it comes to lightening, Florida is a state you want to get shelter as soon as you can. With 1523 deaths and injuries related to lightening, you may want to stay away the “lightning capital of the world” as it is often referred to.
Cold, heat, floods, lightening, and hurricanes. Determining the deadliest area of the United States can be quite challenging when weather hits randomnly over the years. As seen there are various factors to keep into consideration.
Demographics must must also be kept into consideration. For instance, a category 4 tornado may not cause many deaths in isolated rural areas as much as it would if it would struck a highly dense populated area. Another thing to keep in mind is that in order to consider an area the deadliest, it must be prone to continuous severe weather effects rather than being exposed to isolated severe weather circumstances.
Weather still remains an unpredictable event in the 21 st century, often targeting randomly cities and towns. While no region can be considered the deadliest because of the inconsistency of the events, it can be said that there are some areas more prone to dangerous weather events than others. Therefore, determining the deadliest areas of the United States in terms of weather by relying solely on data, remains quite unpredictable just as the weather itself.