April 8, 2015
Between 1998 and 2013, two NASA satellites collected data on the number and location of lightning strikes collected around the world.
The work carried out with the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) and OrbView-1 / Microlab made it possible to make a global map that revealed a higher concentration of lightning in the areas closer to the equator, and more over land than over the oceans.
As NASA’s Earth Observatory website explains, this is explained because solid earth absorbs sunlight and heats up faster than water. That results in strong convection and increased atmospheric instability, leading to the kind of storms that produce lightning.
The spots on the planet with the most lightning strikes happen to be Lake Maracaibo in northwestern Venezuela, where the combination of heat, humidity and the wind from the surrounding Andes mountain range causes spectacular storms. The second most lightning zone is the easternmost part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
According to Reuters, the Lake Maracaibo area experiences thunderstorms 300 nights a year, and every kilometer of the area is hit by 250 lightning strikes annually.
via Canarias7. Technology. NASA collects the places on Earth where lightning strikes the most.
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