Wisconsin Heat Related Deaths

WEATHER RELATED FATALITIES

June 12, 2014 is Wisconsin Heat Awareness Day. Wisconsin Emergency Management, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services and the National Weather Service are reminding people of the dangers associated with extreme heat and to promote community safety and health.

Summer heat waves have been the biggest weather-related killers in Wisconsin for the past 50 years. Heat is the number one weather-related killer in the United States.

Tabulated below are the direct weather related fatalities in Wisconsin from 1982 to 2012. In the heat wave column, the second number indicates the number of indirect heat related deaths. Data courtesy of the National Weather Service Milwaukee Sullivan Office.

Year

Tornado

Wind

Hail

Flooding

Lightning

Heat

Waves

Winter

Storms

Cold

Waves

1982

0

1

0

0

2

0

1

6

1983

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

1984

12

0

0

0

0

0

0

2

1985

4

1

0

0

3

0

0

4

1986

0

1

0

1

0

1/0

0

0

1987

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

1988

0

0

0

0

3

1/0

0

0

1989

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

1990

0

1

0

0

1

0

0

0

1991

1

1

0

0

1

0

2

0

1992

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1993

0

0

0

1

1

2

0

0

1994

4

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1995

0

0

0

0

2

82/72

0

3

1996

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

10

1997

0

2

0

0

2

1/0

0

1

1998

0

7

0

2

0

0

0

0

1999

0

2

0

0

1

13/8

1

0

2000

0

1

0

1

1

0

0

0

2001

2

0

0

0

1

10/5

0

0

2002

0

1

0

0

1

3/5

0

0

2003

0

0

0

0

1

0/4

0

0

2004

1

1

0

1

0

0/0

0

0

2005

1

1

0

0

0

0/0

0

0

2006

0

1

0

0

2

3/1

0

0

2007

0

0

0

0

1

0/0

0

0

2008

0

0

0

1

0

0/0

0

4

2009

0

0

0

0

1

0/0

0

6

2010

0

1

0

1

0

0/0

1

1

2011

1

1

0

1

1

5/0

1

0

2012

0

3

0

0

0

16/8

0

0

Total

28

29

0

25

137/103

38

***Note…Deaths listed above are “direct” deaths, in which the weather hazard is the major cause of death. However, for heat waves, the heat and humidity are sometimes labeled as “secondary” or “contributing” causes of death. These are indirect deaths, which if shown, is the second number in the heat wave column. Likewise, nearly all deaths attributed to vehicle deaths on highways in Winter Storms are “indirect” deaths, since the driver was driving too fast for the conditions, etc.  In other words, the snow or ice did not kill the individual; the death was the result of a vehicle accident.

Winds = severe thunderstorm winds, non-thunderstorm high winds

Floods = flash floods, floods, river floods, small/stream or urban flooding

Winter Storms = snowstorms, blizzards, ice storms (most deaths due to vehicle accidents are not directly related deaths, consequently, they are not counted)

Heat Wave
= periods of excessive heat and humidity

Cold Wave = periods of extreme cold

Hail = events when hail diameter was =>1 inch

Fog = events where visibility was <= ¼ mile

Heat Wave Deaths in Wisconsin 1982-2012

Preliminary statistics indicate that West Central through Southeast Wisconsin have experienced between 15 to 25 heat waves between 1982 and 2012, each lasting from 1 to 10 days. The total number of heat wave days in Southern Wisconsin during this period has totaled between 50 to 75 days.

Preliminary statistics indicate that Northern Wisconsin has experienced between 7 to 14 heat waves between 1982 and 2012, each lasting from 1 to 10 days. The total number of heat wave days in Northern Wisconsin during this period has totaled between 24 to 40 days.

 

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