FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The state of Arkansas encounters several rounds of thunderstorms every year, so it’s no surprise to see that it is home to some of the most lightning strikes in the United States.

2022 Lightning Stats (Data Courtesy Of Vaisala)

According to data collected from Vaisala, Arkansas saw 8,342,689 total lightning bolts in 2022! This put the state in 6th place in the United States for total lightning count, and 5th overall for lightning density. This was a significant jump compared to 2021, as Arkansas ranked 10th in lightning density that year. Interestingly enough, Amy, AR in Ouachita County is the lightning capital in the state, with 229 events in 2022!

Several weather events last year contributed to the lightning count we saw in Arkansas. In fact, the report mentions that May 21, 2022 was the day with the highest lightning count in the United States, with 3,308,805 strikes. Several severe thunderstorms spawned across that state that day, the majority of which produced damaging winds and large hail. However, an EF0 tornado also spawned near Mossville in Newton County, with tornadic thunderstorms typically producing some of the most intense lightning.

Studying lightning data is vital to helping meteorologists understand what is going on in the atmosphere. Vaisala uses this information to help us understand more about our climate, and improve awareness on lightning safety. Lightning is one of the most deadly weather related hazards, and Arkansas consistently ranks in the Top 10 for most fatalities on a yearly basis. Unlike tornadoes and winter weather, we can not detect where lightning will strike, which is why we say, “WHEN THUNDER ROARS, GO INDOORS!”

You can find the full 2022 Lightning Report from Vaisala by clicking here.

Chief Meteorologist Dan Skoff also conducted an interview earlier this year with Chris Vagasky. Known as the “Lightning Guru”, Vagasky was the lead author of the 2022 Lightning Report from Vaisala. You can find the full interview by clicking here.