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 2013)

The average lightning flash density (flashes per square kilometre, per year) for Western Canada (1999 to 2013).

The Average Lightning Flash Density for Western Canada (1999-2013). Long Description.
The average lightning flash density (flashes per square kilometre, per year) for Western Canada (1999 to 2013)
Area in Province or TerritoryAverage flash density for Western Canada
(flashes per square kilometre)
Colour Representation
British Columbia - North and South Coast0.10Dark Blue
British Columbia - Central interior0.25Blue
British Columbia - areas in Peace region0.50Light Blue
British Columbia - small areas - southeast0.50Light Blue
Yukon0.10Dark Blue
North West Territories - South0.25Blue
North West Territories - South - small areas0.50Light Blue
North West Territories - North east0.10Dark Blue
Nunavut0.10Dark Blue
Alberta0.50Light Blue
Alberta - central areas east of the Rockies0.75Cyan
Alberta - small areas in a line from Calgary to Edson1.40Yellow
Saskatchewan - southern areas0.75Cyan
Saskatchewan - small areas - Southeast1.40Yellow
Saskatchewan - central areas0.50Light Blue
Saskatchewan - northern sections0.25Blue
Manitoba - South0.75Cyan
Manitoba - South western sections1.40Yellow
Manitoba - North0.25Blue
Ontario - West0.25Blue
Ontario - Southwest along the US border0.75Cyan

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 1999-2013. 

1999-2013 average flash density (flashes per square kilometre per year) for Eastern Canada

1999-2013 average flash density (flashes per square kilometre per year) for Eastern Canada.

The average lightning flash density for Eastern Canada (1999 to 2013). Long Description
The average lightning flash density (flashes per square kilometre, per year) for Eastern Canada (1999 to 2013)
Area in Province or TerritoryAverage flash density
per square kilometre per year
Colour Representation
Ontario - western area along the US border from Lake Superior to Manitoba0.75Cyan
Ontario - Central0.25Blue
Ontario - South0.75Cyan
Ontario - southwest between the Great Lakes2.10Red
Ontario - southwest between the Great Lakes - small sections3.0+Dark Red
Ontario - North0.25Blue
Quebec - South and West0.75Cyan
Quebec - central - including Gaspé0.25Blue
Quebec -north0.10Dark Blue
Quebec - far northern shores0.10Dark Blue
New Brunswick0.50Light Blue
Prince Edward Island0.25Blue
Nova Scotia0.25Blue
Newfoundland and Labrador0.10Dark Blue

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.

Greatest single-year lightning flash density for southern Ontario. Long Description
Greatest single-year lightning flash density (flashes per square kilometre per year) for southern Ontario
Area in Province or TerritoryAverage flash density
per square kilometre per year
Colour Representation
Windsor to Guelph5.0Red
Simcoe - Delhi - Norfolk8.0+Dark Red
Guelph to Lake Simcoe3.0Yellow
Guelph to Lake Simcoe - small areas4.0Light Red
City of Toronto3.5Yellow Orange
Georgian Bay - South - small areas1.25Cyan
Lake Simcoe to Belleville3.5Yellow Orange
Lake Simcoe to Belleville - North1.75Light Green
Lake Simcoe to Belleville - North - small areas3.0Yellow
Lake Huron - along the north edge0.50Light Blue