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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I'm bringing the Katrina-related "38below" blog entries back, because I think Carl had some important commentary on the storm.
On August 24, 2005, AccuWeather.com decided to do something unprecedented for a website -- send a news team into the path of the storm. Here are their videos and notes.
There was no Social Media in 2005, but this anniversary I'm live-tweeting Hurricane Katrina events as they went down.
I'm proud to bring to you a set of freshly-drawn, HD television quality maps from Hurricane Katrina, showing wind speeds, storm surge, rainfall and tornadoes.
Hurricane Katrina moved over the Dry Tortugas Weather station, but it left instrumental destruction in its wake.
Next week is the 10-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. AccuWeather and I remember through a series of stories, photos and videos.