If you think that Colorado seems to be getting more violent storms than usual, you’re not wrong.

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For example, it’s already been noted that Colorado is one of the worst states for hail in the entire country

Hail from brutal thunderstorms has been particularly bad recently. Not only was their hail the size of tennis balls on the Eastern Plains, but Johnstown experienced hail that was some of the biggest in recent memory.

Greeley also has fallen victim, with severe thunderstorms, hail, and flooding causing one death. 

In yet another tragedy, a rancher and 34 cattle were killed by a lightning strike in Rand, Colorado.

With all of this being said, Colorado is experiencing severe weather we haven’t seen in a long time.

However, this all falls in with a horrible pattern in Colorado; deaths due to lightning.

Colorado Has the Third Most Lightning Deaths in the US

Horribly, Colorado experiences more lightning deaths than almost the entire country.

According to the Colorado Sun, Colorado had 24 deaths due to lightning strikes between 2006 to 2023, only sitting behind Texas at 39 and Florida at 88.

Florida experiences more thunderstorms than the entire United States.

If you think that 24 is an insignificant number, I recommend looking at the Sun’s full list of people who passed away due to lightning strikes. It is a sobering experience.

The reason why Colorado ranks so highly is because we have a large number of ranchers, who disproportionately make up lightning strike victims.

Since they work outside in typically large fields, it can take them a while to find shelter. They are more likely to have equipment that conducts electricity. In the most recent strike, the rancher, Mike Morgan, was standing on a trailer.

Safety Measures You Can Take to Avoid Lightning Strikes in Colorado

To prevent a situation where you could be struck by lightning, you should follow these steps that are recommended by the National Weather Service

You need to have a plan for protecting yourself against a thunderstorm. If you’re outside and a thunderstorm is approaching, you need to get inside as soon as possible.

The phrase they use is “When thunder roars, go indoors”. Once you do that, wait 30 minutes for the storm to pass.

However, you’ll not always have shelter.

If you’re stuck outside during a thunderstorm, try your best to avoid elevated surfaces, get away from ponds, and get away from things that can conduct electricity. 

Never use trees or cliff or rocky overhangs as cover, and do not lie flat on the ground.

It’s never safe to be caught in a thunderstorm outside, but at the minimum these measures will reduce risk.

I would like to say Rest in Peace to Mike Morgan, and let us hope these tragedies will never happen again.

Colorado Had a Hailstorm in 1994 that Looked Like the Apocalypse

Back in August of 1994, one Colorado city was hit by so much hail that you might have thought it was the end of the world.

Gallery Credit: Nate Wilde

Remembering Colorado’s Tragic Storm King Mountain Fire of 1994

With Garfield County currently experiencing a devastating fire in Spring Creek, one can’t help but recall the tragic Storm King Mountain fire of 1994.

Gallery Credit: Nate Wilde

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