Lightning strikes in 2020 were down on average across the country but not in our backyard.
According to Vaisala’s 2020 Annual Lightning Report, last year saw a total of 170 million lightning events in the continental U.S., a decrease of 52 million events compared to the previous year.
Thunderstorms were less numerous due to warmer mid level atmospheric temperatures which suppressed thunderstorms.
Still, Florida took the top rank for the state with the highest lightning density coming in just before Oklahoma. But much of the Florida Panhandle and south Florida saw less lightning compared to most years. This may be attributed to the lack of hurricane landfalls this season.
Areas around Volusia county south of Jacksonville had the most lightning, while northeast Florida and Southeastern Georgia had nearly double above average activity.
You may remember #LaunchAmerica getting scrubbed initially because of #lightning.— Chris Vagasky (@COweatherman) January 5, 2021
Even though much of the country (and even #FLwx) was below average for lightning in 2020, the Space Coast saw more lightning than normal.@MaureenMcCann13 https://t.co/JxHQx3snku pic.twitter.com/joOWKpyIjU
While Texas had the highest lightning counts because of its size, Florida remains the United States lightning capital based on density.
The decrease resulted in fewer deaths in Florida and the nation.