Natural Hazards

, Volume 54, Issue 2, pp 355–366 | Cite as

Nontornadic convective wind fatalities in the United States

  • Alan W. BlackEmail author
  • Walker S. Ashley
Original Paper


A database was compiled for the period 1977–2007 to assess the threat to life in the conterminous United States from nontornadic convective wind events. This study reveals the number of fatalities from these wind storms, their causes, and their unique spatial distributions. Nontornadic convective wind fatalities occur most frequently outdoors, in vehicles including aircraft, or while boating. Fatalities are most common in the Great Lakes and Northeast, with fewer fatalities observed in the central United States despite the climatological peak in severe thunderstorms in this region. Differences in fatality locations between tornadoes and nontornadic convective wind events highlight the unique combination of physical and social vulnerabilities involved in these deaths. Understanding these vulnerabilities is important to future reduction of nontornadic convective wind fatalities.


Nontornadic convective wind Fatalities Thunderstorm 



The authors greatly appreciate review comments from Dr. Nancy Westcott, Michael Spinar, and two anonymous referees. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Illinois State Water Survey.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Midwestern Regional Climate Center/Illinois State Water Survey, Institute of Natural Resource SustainabilityUniversity of Illinois Urbana-ChampaignChampaignUSA
  2. 2.Meteorology Program, Department of GeographyNorthern Illinois UniversityDeKalbUSA

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