Where's all my lightning?

Jeff Duda

Resident meteorological expert
Staff member
Oct 7, 2008
Broomfield, CO
Wow...at first sight I figured they were going to name an instrumentation or network failure as the culprit, or at least something somehow related to the pandemic.

This could be an even better/broader metric of how pathetic a year 2020 has been for severe weather as well, since pretty much all severe storms are also associated with high lightning density (derechoes can be exceptions, but those are also rare events). What I get from this is that it hasn't just been poor performance of a regular number of thunderstorms to produce severe weather (i.e., we still get storms but insufficient CAPE or shear to get severe out of them), but that the number of total thunderstorms themselves are likely significantly down.

James K

Mar 26, 2019
I've seen the posts both here & on the discord about the lack of severe storms / tornadoes...so I figured that much was true - less of those 'events'.

But it also seemed to me like there have been fewer thunderstorms/thundershowers (in general) this season .. maybe it wasn't just a figment of my imagination.
Been getting SLAMMED here in Florida. But we always do this time of year. Being in Florida makes me way more complacent about needing to be out in the plains. Almost glad Covid kept me out of the plains this year (was scheduled AND FUNDED to go). Next year. I do miss massive supercells. I'm hoping we'll get another month of this lightning barrage here....and then months of editing.