Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Elen Cutrim

Second Advisor

Dr. Hans Stolle

Third Advisor

Dr. Rolland Fraser

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Lightning has a profound impact on many aspects of modern day society. Understanding its temporal and spatial distributions is fundamental in learning to coexist with its destructive power. This study surveyed the spatial and temporal distribution of cloud-to-ground lightning over southern Michigan using data provided by the Detroit Edison Company. Flash density and 'lightning day' maps were produced for every year of the 1985 to 1995 study period and then averaged to determine long term trends. A temporal analysis determined the distribution of lightning from the inter-annual down to the diurnal scale.

The spatial analysis indicates both deficiencies in the dataset and true climatological patterns. High inter-annual variability and a well defined diurnal cycle are presented in the temporal analysis.