Lightning Flash Density Maps of Colorado, the United States and the World


 Welcome to the lightning flash density map page of the Colorado Lightning Resource Page. This page will link you to numerous lightning flash density maps for the state of Colorado. You can also view a lightning flash density map for the United States, and for the World.

Below are the links to the lightning flash density maps. The maps of Colorado and the United Statea show the number of Cloud to Ground (CG) lightning flashes per square kilometer per year. If you wish to convert flashes per square kilometer per year to flashes per square mile per year, multiply the values on the map by 2.59.

The lightning flash density maps of the world show total lightning activity.

All lightning flash density plots for the state of Colorado are calculated with a very high spatial resolution of 0.01o latitude by 0.01o longitude squares. This corresponds to an approximate resolution of 1 km2 for the state of Colorado. Data is from 1994 through 2011, excluding 2000.

All of the Colorado lightning plots were calculated internally at the National Weather Service office in Pueblo. The lightning data is from Vaisala.

Table of Contents

Flash Density map of Colorado (1994 - 2011 w/o 2000). - Here is a Colorado map of  the county names.

Hour by Hour flash density maps of Colorado: 00Z01Z02Z03Z04Z05Z06Z07Z08Z09Z10Z, 11Z12Z13Z14Z15Z16Z17Z18Z19Z20Z21Z22Z,  23Z,  LOOP  (NOTE: 12Z = 6 am MDT, 13Z = 7am MDT...)

Monthly flash density maps for Colorado - JAN, FEB, MAR, APR, MAY, JUN, JUL, AUG, SEP, OCT, NOV, DEC,

Lightning climatology of Colorado - PDF Document. This paper was presented at the 2011 International Lightning Meteorology Conference.

Table showing the number of lightning flashes per hour for each month for the state of Colorado. The number of flashes for each day of the month are also shown.

Map of estimated number of cloud to ground lightning flashes per county in Colorado

Cloud to Ground Lightning in the United States

Most of the CG lightning occurs over the Gulf Coast states and Florida (map). Florida leads the nation for CG lightning. Many other States have much more CG lightning than Colorado. There is a misconception that Colorado is 2nd in the nation with respect to the amount of CG lightning activity; this is not true. The Centennial State ranks 26th in the nation with respect to CG lightning.

Higher resolution USA maps of flash density are available in this AMS science journal article PDF

Approximately 22 million lightning flashes occur over the United States per year.

Lightning Flash Density of the world

This map shows the lightning flash density of the world. This map is different from the other maps as it includes ALL types of lightning (the Colorado maps and United States maps only showed cloud to ground lightning flash density information). If you want to learn more about this map, go here. An excellent web site to learn about lightning, and weather in general, can be found here.

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