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Estonia struck by lightning over 24,000 times in 2023

Lightning.
Lightning. Source: Felix Mittermeier/Unsplash

Last year, the NORDLIS network of lightning detectors recorded a total of 24,390 cloud-to-ground lightning strikes in Estonia. The highest number was recorded in Võru County, south Estonia.

The most strikes – 2,538 – were recorded on August 7, mainly in western Estonia and on the islands, according to a review by the Environmental Agency.

In general, this is around 10 percent below the 2004-2023 average, but almost 10 percent more than in 2022.

There were a total of 82 thunderstorm days in the 2023 thunderstorm season.

The busiest month was August when more than half of strikes – 12,784 – were seen.

Distribution of cloud to ground lightning strikes in 2023 (number of strikes per square kilometer)/ Source: Keskkonnaagentuur

The rest were recorded in June (3,580), July (5,984), and September (1,524).

The majority of strikes were seen in South-East Estonia, Pärnu County, Central Estonia, and Ida-Viru County. This is similar to the long-term trend.

The highest number of lightning strikes occurred in the Võru (945) and Otepää (913) in south Estonia. Paldiski (167) and Lihula (169) saw the least.

Last year, the average number of cloud-to-ground lightning strikes per square kilometer was 0.35 across Estonia.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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