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3 Takeaways From The 2019 Lightning Report For Oil & Gas

Vaisala, a global leader in weather and industrial measurements, recently released their Annual Lightning Report. The 2019 report highlights analytical lightning data collected from Vaisala’s worldwide system and provides us a full picture of the year’s lightning activity in the United States. Below are 3 main takeaways from the report that oil and gas industry professionals should know.

1. Texas Leads All States For Lightning Strikes

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.

2. Oklahoma Increased in Lightning Activity

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.

3. The US Was More Active Overall

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.


Are your sites protected from another potential active season in 2020? We can help! Visit our Facility Protection page to learn more about how we help our clients mitigate risk when it comes to lightning, static, and surge protection. Ready to talk? Contact us now.

Interested in viewing the full 2019 Vaisala Lightning Report? Click here.