Lightning is the discharge of electricity, from thunderstorms, that equalises areas of positive and negative charge, for example, between a storm cloud and the ground. Thunderstorms form as a result of rapidly rising air with a high moisture content (humidity). On average, 1 in 10 lightning discharges strikes the ground (or sea) (Metservice, 2015). Lightning (and therefore thunderstorms) are also often associated with other severe weather events, such as strong wind gusts, and in extreme cases tornadoes.
By international standards, lightning does not occur frequently around New Zealand. However, thunderstorms, and thus lightning, can cause injury and damage (Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management, 2010), and may increase in frequency and intensity with climate change (Mullen et. al., 2011).
This data shows the average annual number of lightning strikes per 25km square.
This dataset relates to the "Lightning" measure on the Environmental Indicators, Te taiao Aotearoa website.
Further information can be found in:
MetService (nd). Lightning observation services. Accessed 3 June 2015 from www.metservice.com.
Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management (2010). Thunderstorms. Working from the same page: Consistent messages for CDEM (p3). Available from www.civildefence.govt.nz.
Mullan, B, Carey-Smith, T, Griffiths, G, & Sood, A (2011). Scenarios of storminess and regional wind extremes under climate change. NIWA Client Report: WLG2010-31 (pvii). Available from www.niwa.co.nz.
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|1.||Data quality information for Lightning strike density||188 KB||
|Category||Environmental Reporting > Atmosphere & Climate > Extreme weather events|
|Tags||CLIMATE-AND-WEATHER, HAZARDS-Severe-local-storms, New Zealand, CLIMATE-AND-WEATHER-Extreme-weather-events, Environment Aotearoa 2015|
|Metadata||ISO 19115/19139, Dublin Core|
|Services||Raster Query API, Catalog Service (CS-W), data.govt.nz Atom Feed|