January 4, 2024
Report reveals the most lightning-prone U.S. metropolitan areas and at-risk wind farms
First-of-its-kind analysis shows over 77,000 lightning strikes near U.S. wind farms in 2023. The report also reveals the 20 most at-risk metropolitan areas in the continental United States, with Miami–Fort Lauderdale, Palm Bay–Melbourne and Cape Coral, Florida taking the top spots.
Vaisala, a global leader in weather, environmental, and industrial measurements, published its 2023 Annual Lightning Report today. Now in its seventh year, the Vaisala Xweather annual lightning report reveals a total of 242,101,157 in-cloud and cloud-to-ground lightning events in the continental United States in 2023 and 2,102,170,206 lightning events worldwide.
“2023 set a record for the number of billion-dollar weather disasters in the United States. By year-end, 19 of the 28 events with losses exceeding $1 billion were attributed to severe storms. Severe weather can also be life-threatening, especially without the right safety measures in place,” says Samuli Hänninen, Head of Vaisala Xweather.
“Lightning triggers wildfires, disrupts power, impacts businesses, and poses a significant hazard to life and property. Our 2023 annual lightning report focuses on the risks to wind farms and metropolitan areas. Early warning systems with severe weather forecasting and real-time lightning alerts play an important role in protecting people, businesses, and infrastructure from thunderstorms,” he continues.
The data comes from the Vaisala U.S. National Lightning Detection Network (NLDN), the longest continuously operating and most scientifically validated lightning detection network in the world, and the Vaisala Global Lightning Dataset (GLD360). These two networks detect and pinpoint the location of in-cloud and cloud-to-ground lightning events 24 hours a day. Together, they detect 99.9% of thunderstorms worldwide, recording more than two billion lightning events every year.
Vaisala built its lightning detection expertise with decades of research in atmospheric physics and electrical engineering. For over 40 years, the company has been developing new technology to further improve the performance of its lightning networks. The increasingly sophisticated application of machine learning has kept the company at the top of its field, consistently delivering the highest quality lightning data in the world.
To view the Vaisala Xweather 2023 Annual Lightning Report, visit https://www.xweather.com/annual-lightning-report
You can also meet the Vaisala Xweather team at CES 2024 in Las Vegas, January 9–11, 2024, for an in-person briefing.
More information about Vaisala Xweather lightning detection capabilities and products
Images for the media
More information for the media:
Ryan Said, Senior Scientist, Vaisala Xweather
Niina Ala-Luopa, Head of Communications, Vaisala
Tel. +358 400 728 957
Vaisala is a global leader in weather, environmental, and industrial measurements. Building on over 85 years of experience, Vaisala provides observations for a better world, with space-proof technology even exploring Mars and beyond. We are a reliable partner for customers around the world, offering a comprehensive range of innovative observation and measurement products and services. Headquartered in Finland, Vaisala employs over 2,000 professionals worldwide and is listed on the Nasdaq Helsinki stock exchange.
The Vaisala Xweather team is the weather intelligence partner of choice for leading organizations, governments, and developers worldwide. By combining proprietary observations with novel AI and machine learning, Xweather data and solutions deliver weather confidence that transforms weather from a challenge into an opportunity to drive positive business and environmental impact.
Edited on January 22, 2024: The number of events with losses exceeding $1 billion has been updated from 25 events to 28 events.