Jack Frost’s fury is deadlier than a major report implies, new research suggests.
Yearly winter storm fatalities are tabulated in Storm Data, a report published by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. But Storm Data doesn’t include deaths indirectly caused by winter storms, such as precipitation-related car and plane crashes. That’s a glaring omission, say atmospheric scientists Alan Black and Thomas Mote of the University of Georgia in Athens. After combing through 15 years of U.S. fatality data, the researchers report March 9 in Climate, Weather, and Society an additional 13,281 storm-related deaths excluded by Storm Data. An all-inclusive dataset would more accurately represent the real risks posed by winter storms, the pair argues.
Fatalities caused by winter storms from 1996 to 2011, according to NOAA
Winter storm fatalities from 1996 to 2011 taking into account storm-related car and plane crashes