Weather Whys: June 4, 2015

Courtesy Texas A&M

Q:  Texas has had one storm after another recently. Which state has the most thunderstorms?
A:  The answer is Florida, says Brent McRoberts of Texas A&M University. Florida has all of the right ingredients for thunderstorms – especially warm, humid air and heat. “Because of its large coastline and its warm temperatures, Florida has more thunderstorms than any other state,” McRoberts explains. “In fact, Florida has the top four thunderstorm cities: Tampa, Orlando, Miami and Jacksonville. National Weather Service data shows parts of Florida have more than 100 thunderstorm days each year, the most in the United States. It is also one of the most frequent places for lightning strikes in the world.”

Q: What are some other states that have frequent thunderstorms?
A: Any of the states along the Gulf Coast would make the list, McRoberts says. “Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana all have between 50 to 100 thunderstorm days per year,” he notes. “These states have the same conditions as Florida but don’t have its huge coastal area. Thunderstorms are not rare – at any given moment, there are about 1,800 thunderstorms in the world and about 16 million in one year. The United States certainly gets its share of these.”