Spatial and Temporal Trends in Lightning Flash Density in Florida, USA

Authors: David Connelly*, Kutztown University of Pennsylvania Department of Geography, Richard Courtney , Head of Geography at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania , Michael Davis, Professor of Kutztown University Department of Geography
Topics: Climatology and Meteorology, Temporal GIS
Keywords: Spatial Lightning Trends, Florida, Lightning Density, 67 Counties
Session Type: Illustrated Paper
Day: 4/11/2018
Start / End Time: 1:20 PM / 3:00 PM
Room: Canal St. Corridor, Sheraton, 3rd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Lightning flash density in the USA are most common in the state of Florida. Florida is climatologically viewed as the “capital of lightning” and experiences a high frequency of thunderstorm activity. Strong updrafts counteract with opposing downdrafts to create a polarized atmosphere where electrical charge can be exchanged. The climatology of lightning is to be examined for trends in concentration and number of strikes. This paper aims to analyze patterns in lightning strikes across the 67 counties of Florida on a seasonal basis of spring (March – May), summer (June – August), and autumn (September – November). The data was used from 1988-2012 and partitioned into five-year intervals to better analyze the temporal properties of lightning. Spatial segregation indices will be used to assess the clustering of lightning strikes in counties and the total number of strikes will be considered with choropleth mapping. Correlations between lightning strikes and number of thunderstorm days may be considered to assess whether there is a direct relationship between thunderstorm frequency and the number of lightning strikes.

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