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Revealed – essentially the most lightning-prone areas within the US

Revealed – essentially the most lightning-prone areas within the US | Insurance coverage Enterprise America

Report recorded greater than 2.1 billion lightning occasions worldwide in 2023

Revealed – the most lightning-prone areas in the US

Disaster & Flood

Ryan Smith

5 Florida metro areas are among the many most at-risk spots for lightning strikes, in accordance with a brand new report from climate knowledge supplier Vaisala.

Vaisala not too long ago revealed its 2023 Annual Lightning Report. The report, now in its seventh yr, revealed a complete of greater than 242 million in-cloud and cloud-to-ground lightning occasions within the continental US in 2023, and greater than 2.1 billion lightning occasions globally.

“2023 set a document for the variety of billion-dollar climate disasters in the USA,” stated Samuli Hänninen, head of Vaisala Xweather. “By year-end, 19 of the 25 occasions with losses exceeding $1 billion had been attributed to extreme storms. Extreme climate will also be life-threatening, particularly with out the fitting security measures in place.

“Lightning triggers wildfires, disrupts energy, impacts companies and poses a major hazard to life and property,” he stated. “Our 2023 annual lightning report focuses on the dangers to wind farms and metropolitan areas. Early warning methods with extreme climate forecasting and real-time lightning alerts play an vital position in defending individuals, companies, and infrastructure from thunderstorms.”

Key findings of the report included:

  • Wind farms at nice threat of lightning injury:

    • The report discovered a complete of 77,494 lightning strikes at or close to 1,500 wind farms within the US final yr. Two wind farms – one in Texas and the opposite in Oklahoma – suffered greater than 1,000 strikes every
    • A wind farm in Pushmataha, Okla., noticed a mean of 14.4 lightning strikes per turbine final yr, adopted by a wind farm in Freeborn County, Mich., which noticed a mean of 12 strokes per turbine. In complete, three wind farms noticed a mean of greater than 10 cloud-to-ground strikes per turbine. In distinction, a 3rd of wind farms within the US suffered no lightning strikes in any respect final yr
    • Lightning injury is estimated to price the business greater than $100 million per yr and accounts for 60% of blade losses and almost 20% of operational losses general
  • Most lightning-prone metropolitan areas:
    • Miami-Fort Lauderdale, Fla., was essentially the most lightning-prone metro space within the nation final yr, with 120,998 cloud-to-ground strikes – greater than 35 per sq. kilometer
    • Houston, Texas, suffered 73,114 strikes, adopted by Atlanta with 55,490 strikes. The Dallas-Fort Price space noticed 41,038 strikes. On the East Coast, the New York-Jersey Metropolis-Newark metro space posted 28,132 strikes
    • Going by strikes per sq. kilometer, 5 metro areas in Florida ranked highest for lightning threat final yr: Miami-Fort Lauderdale, Palm Bay-Melbourne, Cape Coral, Orlando and Jacksonville
  • The nation’s tallest buildings appeal to lightning strikes:
    • Ten of essentially the most famously tall buildings within the US had been struck a complete of 104 occasions in 2023. The Willis Tower in Chicago was struck 38 occasions. In New York, One World Commerce Middle racked up 26 lightning strikes. In third place was 875 North Michigan Avenue (previously the John Hancock Middle) in Chicago, with 15 strikes
    • Lightning exercise round particular buildings varies broadly from yr to yr. Whereas Chicago has the next common lightning density than New York Metropolis, over the previous 5 years One World Commerce Middle has been struck considerably extra usually than Chicago’s skyscrapers
  • The lightning capitals of the USA:
    • When measured by frequency of strikes, Texas tops the listing, with 42,388,860 lightning strikes in 2023
    • Nonetheless, when measuring by lightning density, Florida takes the number-one slot, with 112.6 lightning occasions per sq. kilometer

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