2014: Lowest U.S. Severe Weather Death Toll in Ten Years

by Marlo Lewis on November 23, 2015

in Blog

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Severe weather caused 333 fatalities in the United States in 2014, according to the National Weather Service (NWS). More evidence climate change is “worse than we thought”? Quite the contrary, the 2014 severe-weather death toll was the lowest in ten years:

For the third consecutive year, weather-related deaths dropped significantly. In 2014 there were 333 weather-related deaths, down from 446 in 2013 and 528 in 2012. The 2014 number is below the 10-year average (2005-2014) of 638 deaths.

But wait, wasn’t 2014 the warmest year on record? Maybe, maybe not. There was a 48% probability 2014 was the warmest year in NOAA’s land and sea-surface records, and a 38% probability in NASA’s. However, 2014 was the 3rd warmest and 6th warmest year, respectively, in the University of Alabama Huntsville (UAH) and Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) satellite records.

In any event, the relative warmth of 2014 had no discernible impact on U.S. weather-related fatalities. Indeed, with 57 victims, rip currents at beaches were the leading weather-related cause of death in 2014. Global warming connection: zero. As explained on HowStuffWorks.Com:

A rip current is a narrow, powerful current of water running perpendicular to the beach, out into the ocean. These currents may extend 200 to 2,500 feet (61 to 762 m) lengthwise, but they are typically less than 30 feet (9 m) wide. Rip currents can move at a pretty good speed, often 5 miles per hour (8 kph) or faster. . . . Rip currents are caused by the shape of the shoreline itself, and they may be sudden and unexpected.

The U.S. severe-weather body count in 2014 was as follows: rip currents (57), wind (54), tornadoes (47), cold (43), winter (41), lightning (26), heat (20), hurricanes (zero).


Extreme Weather U.S. fatalities 2014 NOAA






The 2014 U.S. weather-related mortality data just don’t fit the Obama administration’s alarm narrative. As CNS News reporter Barbara Hollingsworth points out:

  • The 333 U.S. severe-weather deaths in 2014 included 20 excessive-heat-related fatalities. That was “down dramatically from the 2013 total of 92 fatalities and even more dramatically from the 2012 total of 155. This number is well below the 10-year average for heat-related fatalities (124).”
  • Cold and winter-related deaths outnumbered heat deaths by 4 to 1.
  • In fact, cold caused more deaths in President Obama’s home state of Illinois than heat caused in the United States as a whole: “There were 43 cold-related and 41 winter-related deaths in 2014. These included those caused by winter storms, ice and avalanches. Illinois had with the highest cold-related death toll (21).”

Why zero hurricane deaths? As Hollingsworth also reported recently, it has been 10 years since the last “major” (Category 3-5) hurricane (Wilma, which hit Florida on October 24, 2005) made landfall in the continental United States. That 120-month hiatus is the longest period between major U.S. hurricane landfalls since records began in 1851.

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