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Top 10 US cities with the highest density of lightning strikes

AccuWeather logo AccuWeather 6/29/2019 heather.schlitz
a close up of a map: Top lightning cities in US weighted by population © Provided by Accuweather, Inc Top lightning cities in US weighted by population

AccuWeather analyzed the cities with the highest numbers of reported lightning strikes relative to the cities' population densities.

The cities with the most lightning strikes relative to population density lie primarily in the West and Midwest.

Out of cities with populations greater than 100,000, the cities with the highest number of lightning strikes relative to population density lie in the South.

Top ten cities with the highest lightning densities

RankCityState
1Green RiverWY
2Rock SpringsWY
3Dickinson ND
4PierreSD
5North PlatteNE
6VernalUT
7Huron SD
8SpearfishSD
9KirksvilleMO
10HaysKS

Top ten cities with the highest lightning densities (out of cities with populations higher than 100,000)

RankCityState
1Baton RougeLA
2HuntsvilleAL
3ShreveportLA
4Boise City ID
5AbileneTX
6JacksonvilleFL
7MobileAL
8LafayetteLA
9Little Rock AR
10WilmingtonNC

The most damaging and threatening lightning events often take place in the southern Rockies and Great Plains, according to AccuWeather's Impact Indicator™ algorithm. These areas typically see the highest number of deaths, injuries and damage to property as a result of lightning strikes.

AccuWeather based its analysis on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) storm events database, which collects records on reported lightning strikes. The NOAA database doesn't contain records for all lightning strikes, as a lightning strike is typically only reported to NOAA if it has caused damage, injury or death. 

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