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.

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