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And you'll never see this message again. © This city in southern Florida ranks 14th in North America for the most lightning-prone places and 122nd globally, receiving almost 205 lightning flashes per square mile (79 flashes per square kilometer) every year, according to the study. The reasons have to do with both geography and meteorology, not to mention our location between the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. In this quiz you’ll be shown the names of 195 countries, and you’ll need to select the city (or cities) that is each one’s official or de facto capital. Live Science is part of Future US Inc, an international media group and leading digital publisher. Florida is the lightning capital of the world. The largest lake in South America, Lake Maracaibo sits along the northern Andes Mountains, where the mountains form a natural barrier, pushing air up and mixing it with warm, moist air above the lake to create nocturnal thunderstorms. In the United States, the researchers found that the most lightning occurs near Orangetree, Florida. Lake Maracaibo in Venezuela has a new claim to fame: This large bay has been revealed as the lightning capital of the world, with storms lighting up the skies almost 300 nights each year, according to a NASA study. The one downside to these displays is that Florida frequently leads the nation in injuries and fatalities from lightning strikes—averaging six deaths and 39 injuries a year over the past decade. Slate relies on advertising to support our journalism. Visit our corporate site. You can cancel anytime. In 2000 a Swiss foundation launched a campaign to determine the New Seven Wonders of the World. Receive news and offers from our other brands? Future US, Inc. 11 West 42nd Street, 15th Floor, All rights reserved. Asia has the second-most lightning hotspots, with its most active regions located in the northwestern ridges of the Himalayas, near Daggar, Pakistan. Please refresh the page and try again. Please deactivate your ad blocker in order to see our subscription offer, (Image: © Denis Rozhnovsky | Shutterstock.com). Friction from the droplets and crystals bumping together creates positive and negative electrical charges in the clouds. The lightning capital of the United States. The warm air has water droplets. World Capital Cities with their country in a sortable table. Join Slate Plus to continue reading, and you’ll get unlimited access to all our work—and support Slate’s independent journalism. It uses a specialized, high-speed, near-infrared imaging system and can spot brief lightning flashes even in bright daytime. Lightning storms occur frequently in this humid location throughout the year. Thank you for signing up to Live Science. By joining Slate Plus you support our work and get exclusive content. New York, Thunder clouds fill the sky to the point that you wonder if the apocalypse is nigh. The cold air has ice crystals. Today, all across America, people will gather on beaches and lawns, in parks and stadiums, to watch a dazzling flash-bang show of fireworks. That’s because Florida is the lightning capital of the United States—or, as one of my friends likes to say, “Florida boasts the most lightning-scorched landscape in North America.”. So this is the rare Florida outdoor attraction that’s best viewed from inside your house or hotel. Resubmitting this comment because I don’t think it went through the first time. "Better understanding of lightning activity around the world enables policymakers, government agencies and other stakeholders to make more informed decisions related to weather and climate.". Slate is published by The Slate Group, a Graham Holdings Company. That's because when you break down how many flashes Floridians see per square mile of land (a measure known as lightning flash density) no other state compares. Port Tampa Bay is the largest port in Florida. Simon Bradley/CC-BY 2.0 According to the National Weather Service weather forecast office in Pueblo, Colorado, the lightning capital of the world is the tropical region of central Africa. "Lake Maracaibo has a unique geography and climatology that is ideal for the development of thunderstorms," Dennis Buechler, a research scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, said in a statement. Florida is the lightning capital of the U.S. because: Florida has a distinct sea breeze during the summer. The Sunshine State is also the Lightning State. In the United States, Florida often receives more lightning than any other state. Even though the place that receives the most lightning in the world is in South America, Africa is the top continent on the top 500 lightning hotspots list with 283 sites followed by Asia with 87 places. You’ve run out of free articles. Stay up to date on the coronavirus outbreak by signing up to our newsletter today. Developed in the 1990s, the LIS detects the distribution and variability of total lightning in tropical regions around the world. Did you know, Florida has 17 out of the top 30 cities for lightning, making it live up to its reputation as the lightning capital of the U.S. (Op-Ed), 20 of the worst epidemics and pandemics in history, Swarms of 'primordial' black holes might fill our universe, Medieval soldier found with sword and knives at the bottom of a Lithuanian lake, Catch the full moon (and a penumbral eclipse) on Monday. Lightning occurs in thunderstorms when cold air and warm air interact. Although Florida ranks as the #2 state with the most lightning strikes, it is often called the "Lightning Capital of the World." leads the nation in injuries and fatalities. Lake Maracaibo in Venezuela has a new claim to fame: This large bay has been revealed as the lightning capital of the world, with storms lighting up … Then multiple bolts start zapping this way and that, one right on top of the other, jagged streaks of blinding brightness followed by a bone-rattling, brain-jolting boom. All contents © 2020 The Slate Group LLC. It is home to six of the world's top 10 sites for lightning strikes, all of which are located along the Mitumba Mountains in Eastern Congo. The researchers were able to determine these figures using 16 years of data from the Lightning Imaging Sensor (LIS) on NASA's Tropical Rainfall Measurement Mission satellite. North America has 53; South America has 67 and Oceania has 10. (Louisiana ranks second with 17.6 lightning flashes per square mile.) A Florida lightning storm can be more awe-inspiring than any mere fireworks display. Florida has another title. Follow Live Science @livescience, Facebook & Google+. Similar to a word of the day- subscribers could get an email with a different world capital and some fun facts about it every day! World Capital Cities - Sortable alphabetically by World Capitals or Countries. Given that the original Seven Wonders list was compiled in the 2nd century BCE—and that only one entrant is still standing (the Pyramids of Giza)—it seemed time for an update.And people around the world apparently agreed, as more than 100 million votes were cast on the Internet or by text messaging. Most of the continental lightning hotspots are located near mountain ranges, and they have a geography similar to that of Lake Maracaibo, revealing the importance of local topography in thunderstorm development, the researchers said. It also happens… It’s the closest full service port to the Panama Canal. Researchers found that the lake gets 603 bolts of lightning per square mile (233 bolts per square kilometer) every year. These electrifying storms tend to be concentrated over land and usually occur in the afternoon, while there is typically less lightning over oceans, and when these storms do occur, they tend to be more nocturnal, according to the new research. You will receive a verification email shortly. Africa remains the continent with the most lightning hotspots, according to the study. Follow Knvul Sheikh on Twitter @KnvulS. NY 10036. QUIZ: Can you identify the world’s national capitals? If you value our work, please disable your ad blocker. Electric Earth: Stunning Images of Lightning, Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, Megalodon nurseries reveal world’s largest shark had a soft side, Banned in 160 Nations, Why is Ractopamine in U.S. Pork? The previous titleholder, the city of Kabare in the Democratic Republic of Congo, gets 531 lightning bolts  per square mile (205 bolts per square kilometer) annually. The result is 90 to 100 days of major thunderstorms across central and southern Florida every year. The space shuttle Discovery rolls out to Launch Pad 39A with lightning in the area at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., in August 2009. Click the table headings to sort the capital cities or countries alphabetically. That title actually belongs to the African country of Rwanda, which has 2 1/2 times the lightning strikes we have in Florida. "We can now observe lightning flash rate density in very fine detail on a global scale," said Richard Blakeslee, LIS project scientist at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center. In Florida we get a dazzling flash-bang show nearly every day, all summer long. South America is third in hotspots, followed by North America and Australia, according to the study, which was published online Feb. 17 in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. There was a problem. This world capital list would be an excellent daily email! 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