Today's SpaceX webcast featured an interesting quote, that Cape Canaveral is the lightning capital of the US. Is that really the case? If not, how does it compare in lightning strikes to other areas in the US?


2 Answers 2


It's pretty likely. Florida has the highest lightning strikes of anywhere in the US, as can by seen by this map from lightningsafety.com This is the area near Florida, with the highest levels.

It's hard to see, but the highest density is actually just to the west of the Cape, but it's not too far of a stretch to say it's the lightning capital of the US.

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  • $\begingroup$ I don't know about strikes, but Miami has the most fatalities: journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/2009BAMS2765.1 $\endgroup$ Jun 15, 2016 at 14:29
  • $\begingroup$ Of course, that could be related to population density. $\endgroup$ Jun 15, 2016 at 14:29
  • $\begingroup$ Ah I missed that my source also has a chart by density with Tampa as the highest. $\endgroup$ Jun 15, 2016 at 14:30

Central Florida is a zone of convergence; prevailing winds from the north crash into prevailing winds from the south. The result is a lot of storm activity and a lot of lightning.

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    $\begingroup$ Good until you said north and south. Central Florida is a major area of convergent winds... but it's the East Coast Seabreeze and West Coast Seabreeze colliding, so generally easterly and westerly winds. The only time Florida (or the southeast) sees synoptic winds with a significant northerly component is during the winter/early spring. Florida's peak lightning season is the summer :-) $\endgroup$ May 21, 2017 at 9:27

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