AEM Releases 2023 U.S. Lightning Report

A Year of Meteorological Surprises: Over 558 Million Lightning Pulses and Diverse Weather Phenomena

GERMANTOWN, MD, January 15, 2024AEM, the essential source for environmental insights, today released its 2023 U.S. Lightning Report. Last year, AEM’s Earth Networks Total Lightning Network® detected over 558 million lightning pulses within 92 million lightning flashes across the U.S., a notable 6.6% increase from 2022. This surge in lightning activity was accompanied by a range of extraordinary weather events.

Reflecting its continued status as the lightning capital of the nation, Florida in 2023 again maintained the highest density of lightning strikes for any state, a characteristic feature of regions like the Gulf Coast and Southeast, known for their intense lightning activities. The report notes a significant trend among the top 10 states with prevalent lightning, including several from the Great Plains and Missouri making the top 10 due to increased activity across more than two dozen counties, surpassing South Carolina.

Specifically, Florida experienced 108.5 flashes per square mile, contributing to over 5.8 million total lightning flashes. Meanwhile, St. Bernard Parish in Louisiana recorded an astonishing 392 lightning flashes per square mile, the highest in the nation.

In terms of state extremes, Texas stood out with the highest number of lightning strikes overall, recording more than 13 million total flashes. Conversely, New England states like Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and Maine registered some of the lowest lightning flash counts in the country. Hawaii had the lowest overall lightning flashes for a state last year, with less than 5,000 total.

“The 2023 report not only quantifies lightning strikes but also brings to light the varied and sometimes extreme weather conditions across different states and counties. These findings highlight the importance of localized weather monitoring and the need for tailored strategies to address the risk.”

Dr. Elizabeth DiGangi,
Lightning Scientist, AEM

The report also explores extremely rare weather events, including the remarkable thundersnow phenomenon that occurred in Southern California. Thundersnow combines the electrical activity of a thunderstorm with the cold temperatures of a snowstorm, resulting in a stunning and unusual display of nature. This event, a testament to the complexity of atmospheric conditions, brought not only lightning but also intense snowfall to Southern California, leaving residents and meteorologists in awe.

Data for the 2023 report was captured by AEM’s Earth Networks Total Lightning Network (ENTLN), the most comprehensive global network for lightning and weather detection. With over 1,800 sensors worldwide, the ENTLN is pivotal in understanding and anticipating environmental risks.

The full report can be found here.

About AEM

AEM is combining global technology leaders to empower communities and organizations to survive and thrive in the face of escalating environmental risks. By deploying intelligent sensing networks, operating a secure and scalable data management infrastructure, and delivering high-value analytics through a suite of end-user applications, AEM serves as the essential source for environmental insights. These technologies enable positive outcomes, helping reduce environmental impact and creating a safer world. For more information, visit For media inquiries, contact

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