The Eric Factor: Here’s why there are way more men struck by lightning than women

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A new set of numbers are in and lightning has been more deadly this year than any other in the present decade! According to the National Weather Service, 31 people have died after being struck by lightning so far in 2016.

While the number is higher than normal, an odd trend continues: there are six times more more men than women killed.

At first thought, you probably think it's because of our masculine urge to grab the camera and head outside every time there's a storm warning. Okay, maybe that's true...but it doesn't show up in the data this year.

The statistics have more to do with a lightning bolt's access to a person of a male or female gender. And there are a greater number of men in harm's way. Many of the top leisure activities expose men to a greater number of lightning strikes. Fishing, camping, boating, soccer, football, baseball, and golf have more men outside. In addition, there are many labor jobs that have more men working outside during peak storm times than women.

According to a recent study by NOAA's National Weather Service, fishing is the most dangerous activity when it comes to lightning, causing 26 deaths between 2006 and 2012.

The way to prevent lightning fatalities is to seek shelter whenever thunder is heard. "When thunder roars, go indoors." If you're caught outside with no shelter, get to the lowest level possible, crouch down, and cover your head.

-Meteorologist Eric Sorensen


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