Pennsylvania Lightning Maps
The PA State Climate Office developed this month’s featured climate tool. Using lightning data from the US Precision Lightning Network (USPLN), maps of daily lightning strikes across PA and parts of the surrounding states are available on this website. This product is relatively new, with lightning maps available beginning in April 2009. Members of the Pennsylvania climate office staff developed this tool, namely Sonya Miller, Tiffany Wisniewski, and Andrew Fink.
Maps with dots representing lightning strikes are provided for every day in which lightning occurred in Pennsylvania. The dots are color-coded, representing the hour of the day (in local time) in which the strike occurred. Days are only available if there were lightning strikes, so the count of images in a given month provides information about the frequency of severe weather in the month. In addition, the maps give a comprehensive geographical view of severe weather on a particular day.
Useful for those trying to assess storm damage, this climate tool has received positive feedback from Pennsylvania State Police who are regularly requested to document lightning damage for insurance claims, among others.
Each month, an AASC-developed climate tool will be featured from our “Climate Tools Database”, expanding on the short description already listed in the table.
Assistant State Climatologist OWSC