Where Are Thunderstorms Most Common?

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By By Steve Pool

SEATTLE - It's certainly not Seattle. Seattle is one of the rarest places to find thunderstorms -- as is the Pacific Coast in general. That's because the Pacific Ocean helps to moderate our temperatures, keeping us from getting the wide temperature differences needed for good thunderstorm development.

No, the lightning trophy belongs to Florida, where its cities average about 90 thunderstorms a year -- or one every fourth day. They have a unique situation from being a peninsula. The inland areas will radiate their heat upward.

Cool sea breezes will rush in to replace the air, but they get a sea breeze from both their western and eastern shores. Those sea breezes collide over the inland areas and create convection, which leads to thunderstorms.

Your Photos

YouNews Waiting their turn Waiting their turn
A Washington State Ferry waits its turn to dock at the Lopez Island Ferry Terminal as the sun rises over Mount Baker in the background.
YouNews Reflection Reflection
During my time in Seattle, WA, I've had the opportunity to take all sorts of interesting pictures. There is water everywhere here, and in this shot; it provides a perfect mirror to the road above.
YouNews Weekend Sky Objects Weekend Sky Objects
These images were taken Friday and Saturday under with a bright moon. M42 is a 45 minute stack of 122 frames and M15 is a 34 minute stack of 14 frames. A Meade 6-inch refractor
and a Nikon D3100 was used for all the images. Stacking was
done with Deep Sky Stacker (freeware).