Which States Have the Most Lightning Strikes?

  • Jan 16, 2020

Just how many lightning strikes did your state see this year?

The Top 10 States with the Most Lightning Strikes in 2019

seasonal lightning 2019

Lightning strikes the Earth about 100 times every minute. That’s approximately 8 billion strikes per day!

With all this lightning activity, you can be sure your state saw plenty of lightning last year. But how much?

Our Earth Networks Total Lightning Network (ENTLN) knows exactly how much. The 2019 Earth Networks Lightning Report revealed the top 10 states with the most lightning strikes in 2019. Did your state make the list? Check it out below!

The 2019 Earth Networks Lightning Report revealed the top 10 U.S. states with the most lightning. Did your state make the list? Click To Tweet

The Top 10 States with the Most Lightning Strikes in 2019

  1. Texas: 16,032,609
  2. Kansas: 8,299,321
  3. Nebraska: 6,166,469
  4. Oklahoma: 6,039,749
  5. Florida: 5,271,987
  6. Missouri: 4,612,813
  7. South Dakota: 3,706,174
  8. Iowa: 3,603,519
  9. Colorado: 3,499,283
  10.  New Mexico: 3,436,976

 

The counts above reflect total lightning data, or the combination of in-cloud and cloud-to-ground strikes. Believe it or not, in-cloud lightning is much more common than cloud to ground. In 2019, approximately 83% of all lightning strikes never touched down.

VIEW THE FULL REPORT

2019 Lightning vs. 2018 Lightning

This year’s data showed there was a slight increase (~1%) in total lightning activity across the continental United States.

It’s more interesting to look at where the lightning did and didn’t happen. In 2019, there was less lightning in places like the Gulf Coast.

The image below shows the Thunder Day Anomalies for 2019 compared to the last seven years. CONUS THunder Day Anomolies showing lightning in the united states

A Thunder Day is any day a cloud-to-ground or in-cloud strike occurs. The blue areas on the map are areas with less-than-average lightning activity in 2019. The red areas on the map are areas with more-than-average lightning activity in 2019.

Top 10 States with Highest Lightning Density

It’s no surprise that some of the top states for lightning strikes are some of the biggest states in the country, like Texas. When it comes down to it, lightning counts really aren’t the best way to compare which areas were most active.

The best way to compare states with different areas is with lightning density. The top 10 states with the highest lightning densities in 2019 were:

  1. Kansas
  2. Florida
  3. Oklahoma
  4. Nebraska
  5. Louisiana
  6. Missouri
  7. Iowa
  8. Texas
  9. Delaware
  10. Illinois

 

United States Lightning Map 

Want to explore state lightning count and densities together? The interactive lightning density map below will show each state’s total lightning count. Click on the plus sign on each state to reveal how many lightning strikes we detected there!

Looking a real-time lightning map for your organization? Sferic Maps can show you hyperlocal lightning information around the world. Click the link below to learn more.

 What weather would you track? Learn more about Sferic Maps: Our real-time, hyperlocal weather map


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