ORLANDO, Fla. – Central Florida is the most active lightning hotspot in all of North America, when it comes to lightning per square mile. Hence why the corridor from Tampa Bay to Titusville has gained the nickname “Lightning Alley.”
On average, this zone experiences about 56 lightning strikes per every square mile annually, with about 90% of these strikes happening from May to October between noon and midnight.
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This cross-section of Florida gets the name recognition due to its prime location for the daily collision of sea breezes during the summertime.
Data released in early 2022 by Vaisala show both Florida and Texas leading in the nation in lightning statistics. Although Texas recorded more lightning strikes with a total of 41,914,516, Florida still has a greater lightning density than any other state with a total of 223 events per square mile.
Leading the charge in lightning strike density across Florida is Geneva. In 2021, the Seminole County community experienced 857 lightning events per square mile. Geneva, Florida, currently sits in second place nationwide, following Flatonia, Texas, which saw more than 1,000 lightning events.
Texas tends to always have a higher lightning count than any other state, due in part to its size and location. But to better compare regions, dividing the number of lightning events by the square area gives a better idea of the lightning density.
This is why it is important to remember that there is no safe place outdoors when lightning is near, especially here in Central Florida. Click here to see five shocking lightning myths to know.
Lightning strikes can travel up to 10 miles. Just because you don’t see lightning, doesn’t mean you are safe. So even if you don’t consider yourself to be in a lightning risk area, when thunder roars, go indoors.