Lightning fatality risk map of the contiguous United States

William P. Roeder, Benjamin H. Cummins, Kenneth L. Cummins, Ronald L. Holle, Walker S. Ashley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


A new method to calculate lightning fatality risk is presented in order to develop a way to identify the lightning risk in areas where lightning fatality data are not available. This new method uses GIS software to multiply lightning flash density and population density on a grid and display the results on a map. A comparison to the known lightning fatality data was done to verify the method. The method works well with a quadratic regression correlation coefficient as high as 0.864, although a hybrid quadratic/log-linear regression is preferred for various reasons despite having a slightly lower correlation coefficient (0.827). Given the good performance, the lightning fatality risk method may be useful for developing countries, where lightning fatality reports may not be reliable, to help guide where to allocate scarce resources for lightning safety initiatives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1681-1692
Number of pages12
JournalNatural Hazards
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1 2015


  • GIS
  • Geographic Information System
  • Lightning
  • Lightning fatalities
  • Lightning safety
  • Lightning safety education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)

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