A 10-yr monthly lightning climatology of Florida: 1986-95
Additional Document Info
Average cloud-to-ground lightning flash density values for Florida have been calculated for the 10-yr period 1986-95. An annual mean map and monthly mean maps were constructed from a database exceeding 25 million flashes. These maps represent a 10-yr climatology of the geographic distribution of detected cloud-to-ground lightning flashes and provide an insight into the thunderstorm distribution in Florida. The locations of relative areas of lightning maxima and minima are strongly affected by the various combinations of synoptic and mesoscale contributions and are discussed. During the cool season, November-February, the greatest flash densities occur over the panhandle from storms mostly associated with midlatitude synoptic-scale systems. During the spring transitional period of March-May, flash densities increase over the entire state as synoptic contributions transition to mesoscale. Flash density totals in the warm season, June-August, exceed 10 flashes km-2 in the central part of Florida. Flash density maxima in the summer are locally enhanced by mesoscale convergence and convection, especially along the west and east coasts of the central peninsula. Neither the panhandle nor the south peninsula show these impressive maxima. During the autumn transition period, September and October, flash densities decrease sharply across the state except for an area maximum that does remain over the eastern part of the peninsula.