MELBOURNE, FLA. — Florida is earning its title as “The Lightning Capital” this summer as several powerful strikes have garnered headlines. CBS Evening News tapped Florida Institute of Technology lightning expert Amitabh Nag, assistant professor of physics and space sciences, to explain why the Sunshine State is a magnet for lightning strikes and the science behind the powerful storms. The Aug. 4 CBS News story is here:
The TV audience for CBS Evening News is estimated at 5.8 million.
Nag earned media attention earlier this summer with research that indicated people who live and work along Florida’s coasts – and coastlines everywhere – may be more likely to experience a super-charged lightning strike. Nag and colleagues found that lightning can be much more powerful over the ocean than land.
Nag and Kenneth L. Cummins, research professor at Florida Tech and the University of Arizona, recently published, “Negative First Stroke Leader Characteristics in Cloud to-Ground Lightning Over Land and Ocean” in the American Geophysical Union’s Geophysical Research Letters. The scientists analyzed lightning over parts of Florida and its coasts using data provided by the U.S. National Lightning Detection Network.