I guess the first thing one should do when defining the chances of hitting a storm is defining the storm. A gale is not a storm. A squall is not a storm. When you get to Force 10 or more you're talking storm. 35 knots is a gale. Expect to get caught in many of those. But there are many people (I have friends that did three circumnavigations over ten years) that never get caught in storms.
Is ocean voyaging safer that flying? Hell yes. Far more people have died from planes falling out of the sky than yachts sinking. You just get to do it while you're not alone because there are a lot more people flying than voyaging. But when last did you watch a TV program called Yacht Sinking Investigations?
If you want a safe past-time - take up knitting.
Especially if 35 knots scares you.