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Are People Really Afraid Of The Weather?

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Are People Really Afraid Of The Weather?

There’s a reason why ghost stories begin with “It was a dark and stormy night….” Gloomy weather can be spooky – and sometimes Mother Nature can throw some very scary storms our way. According to a recent study, at least 1 in 10 Americans suffer from some type of weather fear.

But what kind of weather spooks us the most?  We did some digging and came up with a list of the five most common weather-related phobias:

  1. Astraphobia (fear of thunder & lightning): Astraphobia ranks among the top fears humans experience (although pets can have astraphobia too!). Scientists estimate as many as 2-3% of Americans are afraid of thunderstorms – that’s roughly the same number of people who are claustrophobic (afraid of small spaces).
  2. Lilapsophobia (fear of tornadoes & hurricanes): A number of people who are afraid of thunderstorms are deathly afraid of them and of the severe storms (tornadoes and hurricanes) thunderstorms can grow into.
  3. Ancraophobia (fear of wind): Some people who are afraid of storms aren’t really afraid of the storm itself, they’re afraid of certain weather conditions the storm brings. This is true of ancraophobes – people who fear winds. To them, wind’s destructive power, namely its ability to down trees and power lines, cause structural damage to homes, and carry debris and loose objects airborne is what triggers stress and anxiety. Some sufferers even fear wind’s ability to “cut off” or take away their breath.
  4. Chionophobia (fear of snow): Chionophobia may not sound like a popular phobia, but if you dread the winter season’s cold and snow (like many do!), it’s possible you suffer from it without even realizing it. You don’t necessarily have to be afraid of snowflakes, you could simply fear the dangers snowy weather can bring, such as slick roads and walkways, hazardous driving, not being able to see in whiteout conditions, and being trapped by or stranded in the snow.
  5. Ombrophobia (fear of rain): Ombrophobia makes the list largely because it can be linked back to astraphobia. Those who fear rain, especially children, tend to do so because they take heavy downpours as a sign that thunderstorms may be near.

Surprisingly, weather doesn’t have to be severe to raise stress levels or heart rates. Even “ordinary” weather can be a nightmare for folks who suffer from the following (real) phobias:

  • Nephophobia (the fear of clouds)
  • Homichlophobia (the fear of fog)
  • Cryophobia (the fear of frost or cold days)
  • Thermophobia (the fear of warm days)
  • Heliophobia (fear of the Sun)

While a healthy fear of severe weather will help keep you safe, true phobias can be debilitating. If you think you suffer from a weather-related phobia that keeps you from going outside, or if you experience severe physical symptoms, you may want to talk with your doctor and seek help to work through them.

(Continued Below)

What weather do you fear or dread the most? Tell us in the comments below.

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6 comments

1 Sunshinenblues { 11.08.17 at 5:54 am }

i fear hurricanes the most because having been through 3 of the worst during my lifetime, there is nothing worse! it combines rain, wind, darkness and awesome destructive power – i hid in my closet for Gloria in my twenties. *and fear became more severe later in life……i’m petrified at the mere thought of a hurricane!

2 Emma { 10.26.17 at 1:39 pm }

I grew up in a “shack,” and was terrified of bad storms, especially tornadoes, as a child and a young adult. After marriage, as a mom, I would become frantic about getting my three small sons to the basement, wearing motorcycle helmets and hiding under the stairs . . .all this even if the tornado warning was two states away! Then, I had the idea of putting a map on the kitchen wall, and my boys and I would keep track of where the storms were, where they were headed, how fast they were traveling. When storms would move into our area, ( don’t laugh ), we would put Beethoven’s “Pastoral Symphony” on the stereo, and turn it up loud! We learned to enjoy our ritual, and only went to the basement when our area was under a warning. We also learned that most storms didn’t amount to anything fearful.

3 Lou J Apa { 10.25.17 at 11:48 am }

Chionophobia (fear of snow): That’s me, I do fear it; however, now that I am a 72 year and dislike it’s affect on my ability to travel safely! I grew up in the NYCity metro area and experienced more than my share of snow and now that I live in the Raleigh, NC metro area, I don’t want any more of snow!! I do; however, LOVE the SNOW song from the movie White Christmas:….► 1:55
WHITE CHRISTMAS :SNOW – YouTube

4 Lou J Apa { 10.25.17 at 11:43 am }

Chionophobia (fear of snow): That’s me, I do fear it; however, now that I am a 72 year and dislike it’s affect on my ability to travel safely! I grew up in the NYCity metro area and experienced more than my share of snow and now that I live in the Raleigh, NC metro area, I don’t want any more of snow!!

5 Susan Higgins { 10.25.17 at 10:34 am }

Oh No! Sierra! Who will you go trick-or-treating with???

6 sierra { 10.23.17 at 4:56 pm }

so these are a fears of weather but here are my fears: ok lets start
okay so my first fear is my little sister. shes scary and ugly plus shes a brat. that is all,thanks for your time.

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