Map of Canada’s lightning hotspots

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 Territory Average flash density for Western Canada
(flashes per square kilometre)
Colour Representation
British Columbia - North and South Coast 0.10 Dark Blue
British Columbia - Central interior 0.25 Blue
British Columbia - areas in Peace region 0.50 Light Blue
British Columbia - small areas - southeast 0.50 Light Blue
Yukon 0.10 Dark Blue
North West Territories - South 0.25 Blue
North West Territories - South - small areas 0.50 Light Blue
North West Territories - North east 0.10 Dark Blue
Nunavut 0.10 Dark Blue
Alberta 0.50 Light Blue
Alberta - central areas east of the Rockies 0.75 Cyan
Alberta - small areas in a line from Calgary to Edson 1.40 Yellow
Saskatchewan - southern areas 0.75 Cyan
Saskatchewan - small areas - Southeast 1.40 Yellow
Saskatchewan - central areas 0.50 Light Blue
Saskatchewan - northern sections 0.25 Blue
Manitoba - South 0.75 Cyan
Manitoba - South western sections 1.40 Yellow
Manitoba - North 0.25 Blue
Ontario - West 0.25 Blue
Ontario - Southwest along the US border 0.75 Cyan

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 Territory Average flash density
per square kilometre per year
Colour Representation
Ontario - western area along the US border from Lake Superior to Manitoba 0.75 Cyan
Ontario - Central 0.25 Blue
Ontario - South 0.75 Cyan
Ontario - southwest between the Great Lakes 2.10 Red
Ontario - southwest between the Great Lakes - small sections 3.0+ Dark Red
Ontario - North 0.25 Blue
Quebec - South and West 0.75 Cyan
Quebec - central - including Gaspé 0.25 Blue
Quebec -north 0.10 Dark Blue
Quebec - far northern shores 0.10 Dark Blue
New Brunswick 0.50 Light Blue
Prince Edward Island 0.25 Blue
Nova Scotia 0.25 Blue
Newfoundland and Labrador 0.10 Dark 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 Territory Average flash density
per square kilometre per year
Colour Representation
Windsor to Guelph 5.0 Red
Simcoe - Delhi - Norfolk 8.0+ Dark Red
Guelph to Lake Simcoe 3.0 Yellow
Guelph to Lake Simcoe - small areas 4.0 Light Red
City of Toronto 3.5 Yellow Orange
Georgian Bay - South - small areas 1.25 Cyan
Lake Simcoe to Belleville 3.5 Yellow Orange
Lake Simcoe to Belleville - North 1.75 Light Green
Lake Simcoe to Belleville - North - small areas 3.0 Yellow
Lake Huron - along the north edge 0.50 Light Blue
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