Farmers Almanac
The Farmers Almanac
BUY The 2018 Almanac NOW!

Winter or Summer Storms? Which are worse?

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Add to Google+ Share on Pinterest Subscribe by Email Print This Post
Winter or Summer Storms? Which are worse?

When we’re in the thick of summer, we are at risk of severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, and hurricanes.

Hurricanes, especially ones that make landfall in a populated area, are devastating. Fortunately, hurricanes are a threat but don’t always hit annually. Tornadoes, on the other hand, do show up each year mostly in the spring to early summer.

While hurricanes are a destructive and expensive, winter snow or ice storms can also bring widespread power outages and paralyze large parts of the country for many days. Heat waves have also been known to cause deaths and issues with power outages and blackouts.

But which are worse? Summer storms or winter storms?

(Continued Below)

Where you live may influence the answer to this question. Here in the Northeast, winter is our pick. After living through the major ice storm in January 1998 in Maine, many of us at the Farmers’ Almanac realize how hard it is to live without power and heat during winter’s wrath.

Yet if you live in “tornado alley” or Florida, which as been subjected to numerous landfalls of tropical storms and hurricanes over the past 30-years, might think differently.

So cast your vote, and share your worst weather storm experience with us here.

Which storms do you like the least?

Summer Storms

Winter Storms

(Submitting Vote)
Current Results:
Summer Storms: 42%
Winter Storms: 58%
(486 Total Votes)

Articles you might also like...


1 Goldie { 11.08.16 at 3:56 pm }

Summer storms may cause more damage, but at least you don’t have to worry about freezing to death. Also, my company has never shut the factory down so employees can stay off of dangerous roads. So what if it’s a blizzard? The world needs junk food.

2 Anthony { 11.08.16 at 2:56 pm }

Winter is worse in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island the fact is it can be brutal with snow, wind and sometimes ice causing a flash freeze when the temperature flip flops. Snow is always a huge factor especially blizzards that can knock power out for days to a week with high wind.

3 Deb Tobey { 11.08.16 at 2:53 pm }

Where we live in the Midwest, Wisconsin to be exact, I would say summer storms are worse. They are unpredictable as to the exact areas they are going to effect.

Where winter storms, blizzard s or ice storm, you can preplan ahead of time before the storm hits because weather forecasters are more accurate about the areas a winter storms or ice storm are going to effect and then it’s your choice as to whether you want to be out and about during a winter storm, blizzard or ice storm.

All in all if you don’t choose to heed a weather forecasters warning about a storm, then it’s your own fault and it sucks to be you if you get yourself in trouble as a result of not listening to a warning.

4 Marilyn { 01.23.16 at 8:49 pm }

I’ve lived in the northeast, and Buffalo for 35 years. Now I’m in Florida. Hurricanes and tornadoes scare me a whole lot more than snow.

5 P Anderson { 08.04.15 at 11:05 am }

I live in Milwaukee, WI. I hate the threat of tornadoes. They come up fast. At least you can prepare for a snowstorm. So I guess I think summer ones are worse.

6 Kathy Berry { 08.03.15 at 4:55 pm }

Winter storms are worse. They can last longer and hit a wider area at one time and there is always widespread cleanup on highways and sidewalks for days afterwards.

7 gardenmom { 08.03.15 at 4:49 pm }

personally I think winter storms are the worst. if the electric goes out in winter bad things happen in freezing weather, additionally with these freezes Ohio has had the past couple of years a few of my windows have actually cracked from the unusually extreme cold. on the other hand summer storms can be more destructive, but a person can survive for a week or two if need be in a tent outside.

8 yodebbie64 { 09.21.14 at 3:45 pm }

I have lived in Michigan , Texas and now in West Virginia and in all my life Summer stormys are way worse hurricanes ,flooding , power outages in spring/summer your food rots in the freezer/fridge bugs bite you and you sweat to death with no water I have to say I like it here in West Virgina here i’m a thousand feet high we don’t get flooded no direct Hurricanes maybe a tornado and I have not seen a real bad winter yet in four years plus I have alternative heating and we can set milk outside to keep cold

9 Toni { 09.21.14 at 11:27 am }

I currently live in Las Vegas, but I’ve lived in California high desert, Anchorage, Alaska and NE Oklahoma. I love the summer, storms and all. Winter is for the bears

10 Jose A. { 09.19.14 at 9:31 pm }

Definitely winter storms. I’m glad I don’t live where there are severe blizzards. I live in California instead. Severe blizzards already cause blackouts, and winter blackouts are serious. I’m not much of a winter person. Summer storms aren’t as bad; there are hurricanes late in the season in the coasts and I know they can be destructive. But winter storms can leave people stranded for days. Flights get cancelled so easily in winter storms with so much snow. A storm for the summer can cause a blackout but in the summer a blackout isn’t very bad at all. I prefer a summer storm, a rainstorm or hailstorm that doesn’t do a lot of damage or no damage to living things at all, over a winter storm. Winter storms are crazy!

11 Sue { 09.18.14 at 9:00 pm }

Winter is worse with the snow that can bring everything to a halt.

12 Niklas Enblom { 09.17.14 at 8:51 am }

I think winter storms are worse and we get quite a few of them here in eastern Pennsylvania. I like to be out and about and that us hard to do when you have a foot or two of snow and ice on the ground outside.

13 Jennifer Tippetts { 09.17.14 at 3:37 am }

Living in CA, winters are pretty mild. We look forward to winter storms because the mean there’s a possibility of rain. But although summer storms can also bring rain, we usually just get dry storms. No rain, but tons of lightning strikes. And lightning means fires.

14 Laura Gibbons { 09.16.14 at 7:30 pm }

Living in Missouri, and getting both on a yearly basis, I prefer summer storms to winter. In summer, when the storms come we may see some flooding, some wind damage, maybe even a tornado or two. But in winter, when we get 10 or 12 or 18 inches of snow, or snow then ice then snow then ice…..that stuff sticks around, and unless you have wonderful helpful neighbors, a dogsled, or an excellent vehicle, you could be stuck inside for days. Stuck inside for days is worse with two kids who want to run, play, and do all that crazy, noisy, and energetic stuff kids need to do on a daily basis.

15 Aaron { 09.16.14 at 7:26 pm }

In Virginia we are no stranger to winter storms and I’ve experienced many massive snowstorms living here all of my life but summer storms are far more dangerous in my opinion.

Tornadoes and severe thunderstorms just pop out in any random spot and there is no way of telling exactly when and where they will show up so it is much harder to get these warnings out. Convective storms produce strong winds, hail, torrential rains, lightning and form tornadoes. Unlike winter storms, there’s more instability in the atmosphere and strong storms love instability because it helps them grow and more people die from extreme heat and tornadoes every year. We’re generally more aware of an upcoming winter storm before it hits and as long as you’re careful and take precautions before the winter storm hits, you’ll be fine.

16 Laurie Gatchell { 09.16.14 at 6:26 pm }

I live in New England and have weathered many horrible winter storms but still prefer them to summer storms! I grew up in Louisville KY and I hate and fear tornadoes which we seem to be getting up here much more frequently. ..YUK!

17 Paula { 09.16.14 at 6:03 pm }

One winter we had a horrible snowstorm which dropped over two feet of snow, our neighbors tractor broke down and we being relatively new “pilgrims” to the area hadn’t bought one yet. We shoveled and used the snow blower for a week before we could get out of the drive (1 mile long) and only then because the wind finally died down. Then had to wait two more days before the plows, which we found out kept getting stuck, had the roads open to one lane. We went to town and bought a new tractor that day. Wyoming

18 Vicky { 09.16.14 at 5:14 pm }

Hurricane Irene destroyed our home and flooded our town, the next summer we had a hail storm that damaged almost every roof and car. I will take a winter storm over summer weather any day!

19 David { 09.16.14 at 8:37 am }

While I don’t like ice storms and destructive blizzards, I love snowstorms that bring a good dose of snow (6 inches or more) in the Winter.

Summer storms, on the other hand, are far too dangerous with severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, and hurricanes. After going through Irene in 2011 and Sandy in 2012, I don’t EVER want to see another hurricane come this way as long as I live. Oh, I live in New Jersey.

20 Richard { 04.11.12 at 1:37 pm }

I think that the winder strom is far worst than tha summer stroms are. I lost my home in the May 3rd tornado and yes it was hard to rebuild, but the winder stroms, at least around here there are ice strom that down power line and you will be out of power sometime for weeks on end.
With the summer strom it is over with and you can pick yourself up and go about with you life.

21 Janey N { 07.09.10 at 2:13 pm }

Living in Minnesota, we have summer storms, and those who say they dont like them, are usually the ones who are amped up- when they hit, Summer has quick and destructive storms, true, but after them your still in the 80’s and you can repair your roof with out having to battle the elements of 0 degrees. Winter storms hit and then they last, the shoveling, the ice, the warming your car up, the having to wait 30 minutes until you really feel warmed up again. The extra clothes and boots and hats and scarfs and the yellow dog pee in the yards, the look of the neighborhood 5 days after the storm. Parking issues with snow and plows, salt , frozen lakes, you cant have the windows open, the cost increase of electricty and natural gas. Winter and the storms are far worse than summer.

22 Matt { 06.28.10 at 1:10 pm }

My vote goes to summer storms. When you go through a hurricane and live for the next week without power and have 90+ days with high humidity it is brutal. Rotting garbage in the streets. This is why I would rather go through a winter storm as I just bundled up with more clothes and blankets.

23 Sue { 06.28.10 at 2:11 am }

I lived through our recording breaking snow fall of winter 08/09 and our record breaking heatwave, 5 days in a row, the summer of 09, so I am still trying to decide which is worse, hm, hard to decide.

24 Brenda { 06.26.10 at 2:35 pm }

I live in Springfield, MO. We had a terrible ice storm in 2007 and I along with most of town was out of power for 13 days. I had to deal with a sick Mom, care for a sick friend, and then sick myself. It was terrible having to stay awake to keep a fireplace going. So I voted for winter, but spring & summer is almost as bad with severe storms and tornados. Here in the Ozarks, it’s a toss-up!!

25 alison { 06.26.10 at 9:45 am }

I lived in Hot Springs , Ark. for most of my life and I can tell you that summer storms are the absolute worst. We have mild winters – mostly ice – very little snow – but we do have high heat indexes and heat waves, tornadoes, and flash floods. So Summer Storms get my vote.

26 Vicki { 06.23.10 at 11:55 pm }

Winter storms are cold and blustery, but summer storms usually mean downed trees, electricity outages, hurricanes, tornadoes and lightening bolts that dance from ground to sky and all across the sky. They are beautiful to watch, but ohhhh the damage can be devastating! In winter it’s cold, you can bundle up, but the heat of the summer hits, and you can’t peel off layers of skin! Sweating profusely in humid, hot, weather can cause dehydration, exhaustion, and make you down right sick. My vote goes to summer storms being worst. We love to walk in the warm rain, but if lightening is part of that storm, is it really a safe idea? No way!

27 Jeff Johnson { 06.23.10 at 9:34 pm }

I live in Little Rock & on Dec. 2 1982 We had a pretty bad tornado & Since then we have had a few more in the winter. Of course spring storms are worse.

28 chris { 06.23.10 at 8:20 pm }

Summer storms can catch you more off guard and more unexpectedly.
You might be golfing on a bright sunny day, when a unpredicted thunderstorm is suddenly firing bolts of lightening over the golf course. Out in your boat and that same thunderstorm hits? Camping or hiking and suddenly the winds whip up and the lightening starts striking? Where do you run for cover? Tornados migtht be forecasted, but, the route they will take? They have even more the capacity to arrive suddenly and destroy all in their path. You may only have seconds to get to a safe place.
Snowstorms? More accurately predicted these days. You can stay home and be prepared for the worse. (Unless of course you happen to live somewhere where snowfall rarely acclumulates and you are caught completely by surprise.)
As the ozone depletes, environmentalist warned us: stormy weather will become more fericous and more unpredictiable.
Off we go………………………………………………….

29 castles1976 { 06.23.10 at 6:36 pm }

Living in Western Pa for all my Life, winter can be brutal and beautiful . But there is nothing as devasting as a flash flood or heavy winds . Just ask anyone from Johnstown , especially anyone living there in 1977 ! Remember snow storms are usually quiet and the snow is usually gone by March.

30 Michelle { 06.23.10 at 5:44 pm }

I hate winter , To drive in it it is so dangerous The bitter cold Ice I just hate it
I can handle summer storms alot better severe weather in the summer is not an every day thing it can storm out & you can still drive and walk winter you can’t it takes a full day or more to dig out ( YUK )

31 Fay Fletcher { 06.23.10 at 2:27 pm }

I have lived in the Chicago area and San Antonio Texas. Now I’m in NC. I see the most real damage done in the spring(flooding) and summer(storms). Both are uncomfortable and can kinda’ make you “house bound” sometimes. Eventually the snow melts and/or you get the electricty restored from a wintery blast. However, it takes a long time to completely rebuild a house or a town from twisters.

32 MARGARET S. { 06.23.10 at 12:41 pm }


33 Dick Driscoll { 06.23.10 at 12:05 pm }

I live in So. Dakota, we experience both winter & summer extremes. I voted summer because over the years i would have to say that in my area we’ve had more death, injury, & damage in the summer then in the winter.

34 Linda { 06.23.10 at 11:19 am }

The Blizzard of ’77 that hit Buffalo and surrounding areas was a terrifying experience. Now we live in Central Florida…hurricanes are just as terrifying. When you experience storms like these firsthand, it’s difficult to choose between summer and winter.

35 Luanne { 06.23.10 at 11:19 am }

The summer storms are the worst with Tornados that destroy lots of homes and property. Also, the Hurricanes and severe thunderstorms with lightening and high winds. It get makes one scare.

36 Roxanne Coffelt { 06.23.10 at 11:10 am }

It’s funny how different people look at the storms differently. I live on a farm in Northwest Mo. A winter storm makes it hard to feed, protect and keep livestock alive. But the summer storms cause flooding which may delay or even wipe out your crop. So I’m not sure which storm I’d pick, either way it is detramental to the farm.

37 Carl { 06.23.10 at 9:51 am }

Winter storms are worst by far ,summer storms you don’t have to shovel rain!

38 Margaret { 06.23.10 at 9:25 am }

I love the summers but not the bad stroms.

39 Deanna { 06.23.10 at 9:02 am }

I have lived in Ohio all my life and I cannot stand the Winters here, In my opinion Winters are the worst, I have been in and around storms such as Hurricanes and Tornados in Florida, yes they are bad but Winters are forever long and seem to last longer and longer every year.

40 Joann { 06.23.10 at 8:56 am }

I would rather have winter storms as you can always dress up for them, but there is no way to dress for summer storms. In the winter you can just stay in the hous and hide from the storm. but were can you hide from a tornado taking your house? Winter storms do not flood your basements but summer ones do quite often.

41 Sherry P { 06.23.10 at 8:52 am }

I really don’t like winter at all…the cold and snow…ugh! Summer storms, although some can be scary, I like. I love watching the lightening streak across the sky or plummet to Earth.

42 J.A.Murphy { 06.22.10 at 7:14 pm }

I have always said,”I’d rather be hot & sweaty than cold & frigid”.
Well with the severe weather hitting Indiana this year it has changed me to dis-like summer storms more now than ever,I think the strong winds,heavy rain and sever lightning we’ve had this year(especially June) scare me more than ever.
Ask me again this winter and I’ll flip flop again,just as many do!

43 June Bug { 06.21.10 at 7:01 pm }

I just feel that we have no control over freezing to death is why I voted that I dis- like winter storms more than summer storms. Where I have lived all of my life we have summer storms that are thunder, lightening and high winds. When I was a child lightening struck our home, burned out the cellar and the house had to be torn down and rebuilt. It was a bad experience, the lightening bolt that hit knocked my Daddy down (we were all inside of the house) and instantly the fire was burning in the cellar. We have ice and snow in the winter but not that I feel we can’t cope with. At times we have lost our electric. These storms usually don’t last long, we have only been paralized for a few days at the most. I live in Central Illinois now and always have.

44 CLIFFORD MILLMAN { 06.21.10 at 6:36 pm }


Leave a Comment

Note: Comments that further the discussion of the above content are likely to be approved. Those comments that are vague or are simply submitted in order to promote a product, service or web site, although not necessarily considered "spam," are generally not approved.

If you notice a hole in the upper left-hand corner of your Farmers' Almanac, don't return it to the store! That hole isn't a defect; it's a part of history. Starting with the first edition of the Farmers' Almanac in 1818, readers used to nail holes into the corners to hang it up in their homes, barns, and outhouses (to provide both reading material and toilet paper). In 1919, the Almanac's publishers began pre-drilling holes in the corners to make it even easier for readers to keep all of that invaluable information (and paper) handy.

Spring Is Here – Sign Up Today!

The Farmers' Almanac is a gardener's best friend. Get 365 days of access to our online weather and gardening calendars + a copy of the 2017 Almanac
for only $13.99 $11.99!

Subscribe Today »