|Where Lightning Strikes|
Lightning likes Florida, the Himalayas and central Africa. It hates the oceans, Pacific Islands and the poles because low-lying air rarely heats up enough to generate thunderstorms, and the air masses there are consistant in temperature so rarely generate fronts and clashes.
NASA researchers put the data together by using two weather satellites equipped with special near-infrared detectors that spotted lightning hits even in the daytime.
"For the first time, we've been able to map the global distribution
of lightning," said Hugh Christian, a lightning scientist at NASA's
Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. "These optical
sensors use high-speed cameras to look for changes in the tops of clouds,
changes your eyes can't see."
Florida experiences a particularly high number of strikes because westward
breezes from the Atlantic Ocean and eastward gusts from the Gulf of Mexico
create frequent thunderstorms. More people get killled by lightning in
Florida per year than in any other state - about 10 a year. The satellite
data suggest some seasonal patterns in the sky bolts, simply meaning the
storms are seasonal, too. In the Northern Hemisphere, strikes tend to
take place in the summer. Around the equator, most appear in the spring
A bit of trivia for you (I'm a hopeless trivia addict) -