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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The flooding situation in China continues to worsen and it may now be the second-worst disaster to ever hit the nation.
This week is the 20-year anniversary of Hurricane Bertha, and I met her at the coast of North Carolina.
Here's a public service announcement poster I've created to ensure that kids are being "thunderstorm safe" with Pokemon GO.
On Friday evening, a line of severe thunderstorms knocked down hundreds of trees and cut power to Wilkes County, NC.
Fifteen years ago, residents in the Southeast had no idea that Tropical Storm Allison would go on a nine-state rampage, flooding communities for over two weeks before finally moving out to sea.
We had a small heat burst last night in Bradford, Pennsylvania, when a collapsing thunderstorm sent the temperature up by 5 degrees around midnight.