UPDATE: As Mike Smith pointed out: "the high number of strikes in the Upper Mississippi Valley... they had a much worse than normal tornado season in the area and the amount of lightning corresponds to it."
Vaisala, the original lightning detection company that I have profiled before, sent this map showing nearly 310 million lightning strikes on Earth (specifically 309,959,570, they tell me) in the last six months via their Global Lightning Dataset:
The map looks similar to those from NASA's satellite estimates, but because it's only 6 months of data, it doesn't line up perfectly, and these are ground-based, not satellite sensors.
Here's a zoom of the United States. The map shows the density of lightning strikes, with the maximum purple in the Missouri area being 32 strikes per 20 kilometers. You can easily see how mountains (the Rockies & Appalachians) stand out because they have very little lightning. This is because air moving up the mountains from the west drys out, and because the geography disrupts the storms' circulations.
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Over 200 stations may have broken daily low temperature records this morning, with a handful of monthly records. I take a look at North Carolina and Pennsylvania.
The record lows tonight will also affect the Southeast, pushing in cold air not felt since I was in college 20 years ago!
A number of interesting weather and astronomical phenomena were caught on film last night on the AccuCam Webcam Network.
Pennsylvania set a number of cold weather records Sunday and today, and more is on the way.
Folks I can't stress enough how dangerous the weather will be this Valentine's Day Weekend, with Blizzard conditions, RealFeel temps below -40 and snow squalls.
Part of the Rodanthe Pier collapsed into the ocean Thursday as an arctic front passed through and homes in Oak Island remain damaged from an earlier storm.