Special Report

States With The Most Dangerous Weather

Brandon Bell / Getty Images News via Getty Images

Extreme weather is on the rise. July 2023 was the hottest month ever recorded. The heat wave caused at least 147 deaths in the United States, many of them in Arizona and Texas. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, extreme heat kills about 1,220 people in the U.S. annually. 

July also saw the highest ever ocean surface temperatures — and warm oceans are known to fuel tropical storms and hurricanes. As the water warms the surface air, the hot air provides storms with more energy, which enable stronger winds and have the potential to cause widespread destruction once they hit land. (Read about the most hurricane-vulnerable counties in America.)

To identify the states with the most dangerous weather, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed “Summary of Hazardous Weather Fatalities, Injuries, and Damage Costs by State” for 2020, 2021, and 2022 — the latest three years for which this data is available — from the National Weather Service. We calculated weather-related deaths per person by dividing total fatalities in each state over the three years by each state’s total population. 

Weather events considered by the NWS include cold, floods, heat, lightning, tornadoes, tropical cyclones, wind, and winter storms. Total population statistics are annual averages for 2022 from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2022 American Community Survey.  

From 2020 to 2022, Arizona was by far the state with the most weather-related deaths. Heat-related fatalities accounted for 603 of the 627 deaths in the state during that period. Arizona had over three times the number of fatalities than the next state with the most dangerous weather, Texas. While there were 55 heat-related deaths in Texas, cold-related deaths reached 78 in 2021 alone. A record-breaking winter storm and deep freeze hit the state in February 2021, leaving much of southern Texas without electricity.

Other states with the most dangerous weather include Oregon, which recorded 119 deaths due to heat in 2021; Florida, which had 91 deaths as a result of tropical cyclones in 2022; and Kentucky, where tornadoes left 74 dead in 2021, and flooding caused 41 deaths in 2022. (These are the 20 states with the biggest risk of flooding.)

See the states with the most dangerous weather:

48. Hawaii

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons
  • Documented deaths from weather 2020-2023: 1
  • Weather death rate: 0.69 fatalities per 100,000 people – 6th lowest
  • Documented injuries from weather 2020-2023: 5 – 10th lowest
  • Population: 1,440,196

48. Nebraska

  • Documented deaths from weather 2020-2023: 1
  • Weather death rate: 0.51 fatalities per 100,000 people – 3rd lowest
  • Documented injuries from weather 2020-2023: 15 – 17th lowest
  • Population: 1,967,923

45. Connecticut

Source: DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images
  • Documented deaths from weather 2020-2023: 2
  • Weather death rate: 0.55 fatalities per 100,000 people – 4th lowest
  • Documented injuries from weather 2020-2023: 3 – 7th lowest
  • Population: 3,626,205

45. Rhode Island

Source: Scott Eisen / Getty Images News via Getty Images
  • Documented deaths from weather 2020-2023: 2
  • Weather death rate: 1.83 fatalities per 100,000 people – 11th lowest
  • Documented injuries from weather 2020-2023: 1 – 3rd lowest
  • Population: 1,093,734

45. Vermont

Source: Kylie Cooper / Getty Images News via Getty Images
  • Documented deaths from weather 2020-2023: 2
  • Weather death rate: 3.09 fatalities per 100,000 people – 20th lowest
  • Documented injuries from weather 2020-2023: 5 – 10th lowest
  • Population: 647,064

44. Massachusetts

  • Documented deaths from weather 2020-2023: 3
  • Weather death rate: 0.43 fatalities per 100,000 people – 2nd lowest
  • Documented injuries from weather 2020-2023: 18 – 19th lowest
  • Population: 6,981,974

42. Maine

Source: DenisTangneyJr / iStock via Getty Images
  • Documented deaths from weather 2020-2023: 4
  • Weather death rate: 2.89 fatalities per 100,000 people – 18th lowest
  • Documented injuries from weather 2020-2023: 1 – 3rd lowest
  • Population: 1,385,340

42. West Virginia

Source: AppalachianViews / Getty Images
  • Documented deaths from weather 2020-2023: 4
  • Weather death rate: 2.25 fatalities per 100,000 people – 15th lowest
  • Documented injuries from weather 2020-2023: 5 – 10th lowest
  • Population: 1,775,156

39. Kansas

Source: Larry W. Smith / Getty Images News via Getty Images
  • Documented deaths from weather 2020-2023: 5
  • Weather death rate: 1.7 fatalities per 100,000 people – 10th lowest
  • Documented injuries from weather 2020-2023: 11 – 14th lowest
  • Population: 2,937,150

39. New Hampshire

Source: Andrew Burton / Getty Images News via Getty Images
  • Documented deaths from weather 2020-2023: 5
  • Weather death rate: 3.58 fatalities per 100,000 people – 25th highest
  • Documented injuries from weather 2020-2023: 9 – 12th lowest
  • Population: 1,395,231

39. North Dakota

  • Documented deaths from weather 2020-2023: 5
  • Weather death rate: 6.42 fatalities per 100,000 people – 17th highest
  • Documented injuries from weather 2020-2023: 1 – 3rd lowest
  • Population: 779,261

37. Alaska

Source: RUBEN RAMOS / iStock via Getty Images
  • Documented deaths from weather 2020-2023: 6
  • Weather death rate: 8.18 fatalities per 100,000 people – 12th highest
  • Documented injuries from weather 2020-2023: 3 – 7th lowest
  • Population: 733,583

37. Virginia

Source: Joe_Potato / iStock via Getty Images
  • Documented deaths from weather 2020-2023: 6
  • Weather death rate: 0.69 fatalities per 100,000 people – 5th lowest
  • Documented injuries from weather 2020-2023: 36 – 22nd highest
  • Population: 8,683,619

35. South Dakota

Source: studioimagen / Getty Images
  • Documented deaths from weather 2020-2023: 8
  • Weather death rate: 8.79 fatalities per 100,000 people – 9th highest
  • Documented injuries from weather 2020-2023: 9 – 12th lowest
  • Population: 909,824

35. Wyoming

  • Documented deaths from weather 2020-2023: 8
  • Weather death rate: 13.76 fatalities per 100,000 people – 4th highest
  • Documented injuries from weather 2020-2023: 3 – 7th lowest
  • Population: 581,381

34. Maryland

Source: WoodysPhotos / iStock via Getty Images
  • Documented deaths from weather 2020-2023: 9
  • Weather death rate: 1.46 fatalities per 100,000 people – 7th lowest
  • Documented injuries from weather 2020-2023: 30 – 24th highest
  • Population: 6,164,660

33. Arkansas

Source: Brandon Bell / Getty Images News via Getty Images
  • Documented deaths from weather 2020-2023: 10
  • Weather death rate: 3.28 fatalities per 100,000 people – 21st lowest
  • Documented injuries from weather 2020-2023: 55 – 16th highest
  • Population: 3,045,637

30. Iowa

Source: Daniel Acker / Getty Images News via Getty Images
  • Documented deaths from weather 2020-2023: 11
  • Weather death rate: 3.44 fatalities per 100,000 people – 22nd lowest
  • Documented injuries from weather 2020-2023: 109 – 12th highest
  • Population: 3,200,517

30. Minnesota

  • Documented deaths from weather 2020-2023: 11
  • Weather death rate: 1.92 fatalities per 100,000 people – 12th lowest
  • Documented injuries from weather 2020-2023: 30 – 24th highest
  • Population: 5,717,184

30. Montana

Source: Mableen / E+ via Getty Images
  • Documented deaths from weather 2020-2023: 11
  • Weather death rate: 9.8 fatalities per 100,000 people – 7th highest
  • Documented injuries from weather 2020-2023: 19 – 20th lowest
  • Population: 1,122,867

29. New Mexico

Source: brazzo / Getty Images
  • Documented deaths from weather 2020-2023: 13
  • Weather death rate: 6.15 fatalities per 100,000 people – 19th highest
  • Documented injuries from weather 2020-2023: 28 – 24th lowest
  • Population: 2,113,344

28. Oklahoma

Source: Drew Angerer / Getty Images News via Getty Images
  • Documented deaths from weather 2020-2023: 14
  • Weather death rate: 3.48 fatalities per 100,000 people – 24th lowest
  • Documented injuries from weather 2020-2023: 148 – 8th highest
  • Population: 4,019,800

27. Michigan

Source: Gregory Shamus / Getty Images News via Getty Images
  • Documented deaths from weather 2020-2023: 15
  • Weather death rate: 1.49 fatalities per 100,000 people – 8th lowest
  • Documented injuries from weather 2020-2023: 67 – 14th highest
  • Population: 10,034,118

26. Idaho

Source: Bentleyphotos / iStock via Getty Images
  • Documented deaths from weather 2020-2023: 17
  • Weather death rate: 8.77 fatalities per 100,000 people – 10th highest
  • Documented injuries from weather 2020-2023: 32 – 23rd highest
  • Population: 1,939,033

25. Ohio

Source: Scott Olson / Getty Images News via Getty Images
  • Documented deaths from weather 2020-2023: 18
  • Weather death rate: 1.53 fatalities per 100,000 people – 9th lowest
  • Documented injuries from weather 2020-2023: 14 – 16th lowest
  • Population: 11,756,058

24. Missouri

Source: ALFSnaiper / iStock via Getty Images
  • Documented deaths from weather 2020-2023: 19
  • Weather death rate: 3.08 fatalities per 100,000 people – 19th lowest
  • Documented injuries from weather 2020-2023: 410 – 3rd highest
  • Population: 6,177,957

21. Mississippi

  • Documented deaths from weather 2020-2023: 23
  • Weather death rate: 7.82 fatalities per 100,000 people – 14th highest
  • Documented injuries from weather 2020-2023: 159 – 6th highest
  • Population: 2,940,057

21. South Carolina

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons
  • Documented deaths from weather 2020-2023: 23
  • Weather death rate: 4.35 fatalities per 100,000 people – 23rd highest
  • Documented injuries from weather 2020-2023: 117 – 9th highest
  • Population: 5,282,634

21. Utah

Source: Brett Taylor / iStock via Getty Images
  • Documented deaths from weather 2020-2023: 23
  • Weather death rate: 6.8 fatalities per 100,000 people – 16th highest
  • Documented injuries from weather 2020-2023: 44 – 20th highest
  • Population: 3,380,800

19. Illinois

Source: Nicola Patterson / iStock via Getty Images
  • Documented deaths from weather 2020-2023: 26
  • Weather death rate: 2.07 fatalities per 100,000 people – 14th lowest
  • Documented injuries from weather 2020-2023: 42 – 21st highest
  • Population: 12,582,032

19. Pennsylvania

  • Documented deaths from weather 2020-2023: 26
  • Weather death rate: 2 fatalities per 100,000 people – 13th lowest
  • Documented injuries from weather 2020-2023: 54 – 17th highest
  • Population: 12,972,008

18. Washington

  • Documented deaths from weather 2020-2023: 27
  • Weather death rate: 3.47 fatalities per 100,000 people – 23rd lowest
  • Documented injuries from weather 2020-2023: 21 – 23rd lowest
  • Population: 7,785,786

17. Georgia

Source: mphillips007 / iStock via Getty Images
  • Documented deaths from weather 2020-2023: 29
  • Weather death rate: 2.66 fatalities per 100,000 people – 16th lowest
  • Documented injuries from weather 2020-2023: 116 – 10th highest
  • Population: 10,912,876

16. Wisconsin

Source: Jason_Ray_Photography / Getty Images
  • Documented deaths from weather 2020-2023: 30
  • Weather death rate: 5.09 fatalities per 100,000 people – 20th highest
  • Documented injuries from weather 2020-2023: 12 – 15th lowest
  • Population: 5,892,539

15. Indiana

Source: alexeys / iStock via Getty Images
  • Documented deaths from weather 2020-2023: 31
  • Weather death rate: 4.54 fatalities per 100,000 people – 22nd highest
  • Documented injuries from weather 2020-2023: 29 – 25th lowest
  • Population: 6,833,037

14. New Jersey

Source: Eduardo Munoz Alvarez / Getty Images News via Getty Images
  • Documented deaths from weather 2020-2023: 34
  • Weather death rate: 3.67 fatalities per 100,000 people – 24th highest
  • Documented injuries from weather 2020-2023: 45 – 19th highest
  • Population: 9,261,699

13. Nevada

Source: Ethan Miller / Getty Images News via Getty Images
  • Documented deaths from weather 2020-2023: 37
  • Weather death rate: 11.64 fatalities per 100,000 people – 5th highest
  • Documented injuries from weather 2020-2023: 16 – 18th lowest
  • Population: 3,177,772

12. Louisiana

Source: Scott Olson / Getty Images News via Getty Images
  • Documented deaths from weather 2020-2023: 39
  • Weather death rate: 8.5 fatalities per 100,000 people – 11th highest
  • Documented injuries from weather 2020-2023: 98 – 13th highest
  • Population: 4,590,241

11. Colorado

Source: Michael Ciaglo / Getty Images News via Getty Images
  • Documented deaths from weather 2020-2023: 41
  • Weather death rate: 7.02 fatalities per 100,000 people – 15th highest
  • Documented injuries from weather 2020-2023: 46 – 18th highest
  • Population: 5,839,926

10. Alabama

Source: Julie Bennett / Getty Images News via Getty Images
  • Documented deaths from weather 2020-2023: 49
  • Weather death rate: 9.66 fatalities per 100,000 people – 8th highest
  • Documented injuries from weather 2020-2023: 153 – 7th highest
  • Population: 5,074,296

9. North Carolina

  • Documented deaths from weather 2020-2023: 51
  • Weather death rate: 4.77 fatalities per 100,000 people – 21st highest
  • Documented injuries from weather 2020-2023: 59 – 15th highest
  • Population: 10,698,973

8. New York

  • Documented deaths from weather 2020-2023: 69
  • Weather death rate: 3.51 fatalities per 100,000 people – 25th lowest
  • Documented injuries from weather 2020-2023: 20 – 22nd lowest
  • Population: 19,677,151

7. Tennessee

Source: Robin Zeigler / iStock Editorial via Getty Images
  • Documented deaths from weather 2020-2023: 71
  • Weather death rate: 10.07 fatalities per 100,000 people – 6th highest
  • Documented injuries from weather 2020-2023: 419 – 2nd highest
  • Population: 7,051,339

6. California

Source: Andrei Stanescu / iStock Editorial via Getty Images
  • Documented deaths from weather 2020-2023: 110
  • Weather death rate: 2.82 fatalities per 100,000 people – 17th lowest
  • Documented injuries from weather 2020-2023: 372 – 4th highest
  • Population: 39,029,342

5. Kentucky

Source: Brett Carlsen / Getty Images News via Getty Images
  • Documented deaths from weather 2020-2023: 132
  • Weather death rate: 29.25 fatalities per 100,000 people – 3rd highest
  • Documented injuries from weather 2020-2023: 663 – the highest
  • Population: 4,512,310

4. Oregon

Source: Nathan Howard / Getty Images News via Getty Images
  • Documented deaths from weather 2020-2023: 158
  • Weather death rate: 37.26 fatalities per 100,000 people – 2nd highest
  • Documented injuries from weather 2020-2023: 10 – 13th lowest
  • Population: 4,240,137

3. Florida

Source: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images
  • Documented deaths from weather 2020-2023: 177
  • Weather death rate: 7.96 fatalities per 100,000 people – 13th highest
  • Documented injuries from weather 2020-2023: 111 – 11th highest
  • Population: 22,244,823

2. Texas

Source: Montinique Monroe / Getty Images News via Getty Images
  • Documented deaths from weather 2020-2023: 192
  • Weather death rate: 6.39 fatalities per 100,000 people – 18th highest
  • Documented injuries from weather 2020-2023: 321 – 5th highest
  • Population: 30,029,572

1. Arizona

Source: Brandon Bell / Getty Images News via Getty Images
  • Documented deaths from weather 2020-2023: 627
  • Weather death rate: 85.2 fatalities per 100,000 people – the highest
  • Documented injuries from weather 2020-2023: 20 – 22nd lowest
  • Population: 7,359,197

Take This Retirement Quiz To Get Matched With A Financial Advisor (Sponsored)

Take the quiz below to get matched with a financial advisor today.

Each advisor has been vetted by SmartAsset and is held to a fiduciary standard to act in your best interests.

Here’s how it works:
1. Answer SmartAsset advisor match quiz
2. Review your pre-screened matches at your leisure. Check out the
advisors’ profiles.
3. Speak with advisors at no cost to you. Have an introductory call on the phone or introduction in person and choose whom to work with in the future

Take the retirement quiz right here.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us?
Contact the 24/7 Wall St. editorial team.