21 Jun 2022
21 Jun 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ESSD.

The WGLC global gridded lightning climatology and time series, 2022 update

Jed O. Kaplan and Katie Hong-Kiu Lau Jed O. Kaplan and Katie Hong-Kiu Lau
  • Department of Earth Sciences and Center for Climate and Carbon Neutrality, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong, China

Abstract. Here we describe the 2022 update to the WGLC global gridded lightning climatology and timeseries (Kaplan and Lau, 2021), which extends the dataset with global lightning observations from 2021. This addition of new data means that the WGLC now contains 12 complete years of global lightning stroke observations covering 2010–2021. Slightly more lightning strokes (3 %) were recorded in 2021 compared to the 2012–2020 mean of 218 million strokes yr-1. In 2021, above-average lightning was recorded around the Gulf of Mexico, the Central Andes and Amazon Basin, West Africa, and over the central Mediterranean. Lower than average lightning density occurred in much of southern and East Africa, subtropical eastern South America, western Australia, and especially over the Straits of Malacca and the South China Sea. Because below-average global lightning was captured by WWLLN in 2010 and 2011 related to the build-out of the sensor network, we reprocessed the WGLC climatologies to cover the 10-year period from 2012–2021 and recommend these for applications needing climatological mean lightning fields. The updated WGLC datasets are available for download from Zenodo (Kaplan and Lau, 2022,

Jed O. Kaplan and Katie Hong-Kiu Lau

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on essd-2022-88', Anonymous Referee #1, 11 Jul 2022
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Jed Kaplan, 15 Sep 2022
  • RC2: 'Comment on essd-2022-88', Anonymous Referee #2, 22 Jul 2022
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Jed Kaplan, 15 Sep 2022

Jed O. Kaplan and Katie Hong-Kiu Lau

Data sets

The WWLLN Global Lightning Climatology and timeseries (WGLC) Jed O. Kaplan and Katie Hong-Kiu Lau

Jed O. Kaplan and Katie Hong-Kiu Lau


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Short summary
Global lightning strokes are recorded continuously by a network of ground-based stations. We consolidated these point observations into map form and provide these as electronic datasets for research purposes. Here we extend our dataset to include lightning observations from 2021.