Map of Canada’s Lightning Hot Spots

Ever wonder what areas of the country receive the most lightning? This section provides you with some informative maps that depict the lightning “hot spots” in Canada.

The interior of British Columbia, despite having a long lightning season, has relatively low lightning density. East of the Rocky Mountain continental divide a pronounced area of higher lightning activity is seen over the Rocky Mountain Foothills and the Swan Hills of Alberta. Southern Saskatchewan and southern Manitoba have an area of relatively high flash densities which appears to be an extension of the active Great Plains area of the United States. 

The average lightning flash density (flashes per square kilometre, per year) for Western Canada (1999 to 2008)

The average lightning flash density (flashes per square kilometre, per year) for Western Canada (1999 to 2008)

Southwestern Ontario sees some of the highest lightning flash densities in the country. This region is located in a lake-breeze convergence zone between Lakes Huron and Erie. The lightning flash density here is similar to the average lightning flash densities over central Florida. Another hot spot is located along a line from the southern tip of Georgian Bay to southeast of Barrie. These two areas are also highlighted on the following map, which shows the greatest single-year lightning flash density for the years of 1999-2008. 

1999-2008 average flash density (flashes per square kilometre per year) for Eastern Canada

1999-2008 average flash density (flashes per square kilometre per year) for Eastern Canada

Greatest single-year lightning flash density (flashes per square kilometre per year) for southern Ontario

Greatest single-year lightning flash density (flashes per square kilometre per year) for southern Ontario