With much of the country experiencing above average temperatures with high dew points, there have been many stories presented by the media giving beneficial tips on keeping cool and hydrated. On occasion, some of these stories will mention that heat is the #1 weather related cause of death.
It is undeniable that excessive heat, if not taken seriously can cause serious medical complications and death among people of any age. Therefore, precautions need to be taken, yet the data does not support the notion that heat is the #1 weather related killer. In fact, it is cold weather that is the most harmful to the human body. Research has shown that death rates increase as the temperature drops because of increased stress in maintaining body heat and the raise in air born diseases, along with other factors. Nearly twice as many people perish in extreme cold than they do in extreme heat.
Of course it really does not matter the rankings, all deaths are tragic, especially the ones that can be prevented which is the case with many weather related fatalities.