Where does lightning flash most frequently?


We all have seen lightning strikes at least once in our life! Have you ever thought if there are places where this phenomenon is more frequent?  Does lightning have any specific preference of where it strikes? Is it more often over land or oceans?

NASA has answered all these questions after conducting research based on observation and analysis. For 18 years, between May 1995 and December 2013 and thanks to the Lightning Imaging Sensor they collected all the necessary data for our planet! Here are the results:

Joshua Stevens using LIS/OTD data from the Global Hydrology and Climate Center Lightning Team


This map presents the areas in grey and purple with the least frequent lightning activity and the areas in pink with the most frequent activity.

According to this map, this phenomenon occurs more often over land than ocean, contrary to what many people think. The areas that are most affected are in the centre of Africa, close to Congo and in northwestern Venezuela reaching up to 150 lightning flashes per year per square kilometre!