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NYC Hazards: Severe Weather

Severe Weather

Thunderstorms can produce lightning, flash floods, hail and damaging winds. Between 1959 and 2002, 132 people died in New York State after being struck by lightning. Two New Yorkers were killed in a August 2004 thunderstorm after they stepped out of their car into a flooded intersection electrified by a downed power line.

Severe storms can even spawn tornadoes, which often leave broken tree limbs, downed power lines and other debris in their wake. Though infrequent, tornado outbreaks in New York City are not unprecedented. Additionally, a storm's high winds can cause downed trees and power lines, flying debris and building collapses, which may lead to power outages, transportation disruptions, and damage to buildings and vehicles.

While the City closely monitors weather in the New York metro area, severe weather can occur with little or no warning. Because of the potential devastation that can occur as a result of severe storms, you should prepare for the dangers associated with various types of severe weather. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), more than 450 weather-related fatalities and nearly 2,600 weather-related injuries occurred in 2012.

To learn more about past weather events, visit the National Climatic Data Center's storm events database.