Weather Blog: That’s a lot of lightning!!!

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It was an active weather pattern last year with lots of storms. Chief Meteorologist Dan Skoff has a breakdown of the lightning in 2019.

Lightning strike over Bella Vista. Taken by Storm Spotter Zachary Hall

Slow Motion Lightning Capture (Courtesy GIPHY)

Remember how active our weather was last year with multiple severe weather events, heavy rain storms and historic river flooding? It was a busy weather year in 2019 to say the least and now we have the lightning data to prove it!

KNWA/FOX24 and your Weather Authority Team has an exclusive partnership with Earth Networks allowing us to utilize their Earth Networks Total Lightning Network (ENTLN). This network of 1,800+ lightning detection sensors monitors the skies for lightning strikes across the world. Just recently they released the “LIGHTNING STRIKES BY U.S. STATE & COUNTY IN 2019.” Let’s take a look at the total number of lightning strikes in-cloud and cloud-to-ground for our area.

INTRACLOUD LIGHTNING:

About 80% of all lightning is intracloud or within the cloud, meaning it doesn’t reach the ground. In 2019, Arkansas recorded over 2 million intracloud strikes. Compare this with Oklahoma which had over 5.1 million and Kansas’ 6.7 million. The “lightning capital of the world” Florida had less than these Southern Plains states at 4.4 million. Now you can see why the Arkansas River basin from Kansas and Oklahoma saw record river levels in early June. That’s a lot of storms!

Breaking down the intracloud lightning data by individual counties in our weather coverage area, Scott county had the most with 49,896 with Benton county ranking 2nd with 47,075 in-cloud strikes. To check your county number, use the link at the bottom of this article.

Now let’s take a look at the most dangerous type of lightning, the cloud-to-ground strikes (CGs). The ENTLN in 2019 measured 516,596 CGs for Arkansas. Oklahoma, our neighboring state to the west had over 936,000 cloud-to-ground strikes. Kansas beat Oklahoma recording over 1.4 million CG bolts, which beat Florida’s total of 803,000 by nearly 680,000!

Here’s a breakdown of the cloud-to-ground strikes by county in our weather coverage area.

  • Benton Co: 9,884
  • Washington Co: 9,388
  • Scott Co: 10,758

Top 3 Arkansas counties with the most cloud-to-ground strikes

  1. Union Co: 13,610
  2. Clark Co: 10,943
  3. Yell Co: 10,845

If you want to see the total number of lightning strikes in your state or county…. click below:

Total Intracloud Strikes https://get.earthnetworks.com/resources/maps/in-cloud-us-lightning-2019

Total Cloud-to-ground Strikes ( https://get.earthnetworks.com/resources/maps/cloud-to-ground-us-lightning-2019

Some lightning will be a possibility this Sunday night into Monday, so keep it here with your Weather Authority for the latest.

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