9 States With the Most Dangerous Weather

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3. Wyoming
> 5-year average annual weather-related fatalities:
8.0 per 1 million residents
> 5-year total weather-related fatalities: 23 (20th lowest)
> 5-year total damage: $104 million (6th lowest)

Unlike most of the states on this list, Wyoming is not known for its destructive weather. From 2010 through 2014, the state had fewer than five weather-related fatalities on average, one of the lower figures. However, the state’s small population gave Wyoming the third-highest weather-related death rate in the country. Nevertheless, flooding after spring rains or winter snow thaws is quite common. In 2010, FEMA declared a state of emergency when higher-than-average temperatures helped cause the Laramie River to overflow. In the same year, natural disasters wrought more than $60 million in damage. Since then, Wyoming has not had many significant severe weather events.

2. Missouri
> 5-year average annual weather-related fatalities:
8.4 per 1 million residents
> 5-year total weather-related fatalities: 253 (2nd highest)
> 5-year total damage: $5.3 billion (7th highest)

Despite having less than 2% of the country’s population, Missouri accounted for 8.6% of the country’s weather-related fatalities from 2010 through 2014. Nearly two-thirds of Missouri’s total weather fatalities were the result of a single storm. In May 2011, a category five tornado touched down in Joplin. In just 38 minutes, 160 people lost their lives, and thousands more were injured. The Joplin tornado was not only the deadliest in recent decades, but also the costliest single tornado in U.S. history, causing $2.8 billion in damages.

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1. Alabama
> 5-year average annual weather-related fatalities:
12.0 1 per million residents
> 5-year total weather-related fatalities: 519 (the highest)
> 5-year total damage: $12.2 billion (2nd highest)

Not known for its severe weather, Alabama was one of six states hit by a category five tornado in April 2011. The tornado traveled more than 300 miles, with wind speeds of 260 miles per hour at times. Roughly 250 people died from tornadoes in Alabama that year, nearly more deaths than the total five-year death toll in every other state from 2010 through 2014. Total damage from natural disasters in 2011 was $4.4 billion, accounting for 18.3% of all weather-induced damage in the country that year. Alabama’s weather has recently become increasingly deadly. In 2014, 63 people died from extreme temperatures, 54 people died as the result of wind, 47 died from tornadoes, and 38 died from flooding. Each figure was the highest in the nation.