Worldwide maps of lightning activity have been obtained from the ground-based World Wide Lightning Location Network (WWLLN) for 2007–2009. We have compiled these maps separately for different seasons and UT periods, using WWLLN data on the time and coordinates of each of the recorded lightning. The total number of flashes of lightning in WWLLN data is by an order of magnitude smaller than in satellite data from Optical Transient Detector and the Lightning Imaging Sensor satellites. However, the key features of the spatial distribution and seasonal trends coincide well. The main difference observed is the absence of diurnal variation (similar to Carnegie curve) in WWLLN data against the satellite one. This concerns the global lightning number as well as its density in major thunderstorm regions. The solar local time dependence is also weak in WWLLN data. We show that in 2007–2009 the mean latitude of lightning observation is shifted to the summer hemisphere up to 10° from the annual mean value. From the beginning of 2007 to the end of 2009, the global monthly average number of flashes of lightning increased threefold. We attribute this fact primarily to improved processing techniques in WWLLN. The constructed maps are necessary for numerical simulation of the Global Electric Circuit.
atmosphere, thunderstorm activity, global distribution, seasonal dependence, daily variation
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