Just like 2018, Texas was by far the leader when it came to total cloud-to-ground strokes and cloud pulses. The Lone Star State had more than 3 times as many strikes as the second-place state, Oklahoma. Of course, Texas’ size plays a role in the number of lightning strikes it experiences, but it’s important to note that Texas still ranks fourth for lightning density. Activity in the Permian Basin remained high and should be considered a danger for operators there. Other peak areas were the Barnett and Haynesville shale plays. Central and East Texas saw some of the highest density lightning in the entire country.
The Sooner State saw a high number of lightning events in 2018, but saw an increase in all categories for 2019. Oklahoma jumped to the #2 spot in total cloud-to-ground strokes plus cloud pulses with 14,772,145 and ranked only behind Florida in lightning density. The increase was an overall trend for the entire region. In addition to high activity in Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri also saw sharp increase and ranked #3 and #4 in total lightning events.
The United States saw an overall increase in total lightning events in 2019. There were 223 million lightning events in all. That’s 8 million more than 2018, which is almost a 4% increase over 2018. The lightning density map shows some extreme activity in Texas and throughout the Midwest, but even states as north as North Dakota experienced their fair share of lightning in 2019.
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Interested in viewing the full 2019 Vaisala Lightning Report? Click here.