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Siemens’ 2020 lightning atlas: Wolfsburg is the German city with the most lightning strikes 

“What was remarkable about the lightning activities in 2020 was that the storm fronts mainly arose in the north and south of Germany, leaving central Germany virtually unaffected,” said Stephan Thern, head of Siemens’ lightning information service. “It’s only been in recent years that areas in northern Germany have increasingly been taking the lead.” In total, there were 11 days with more than 10,000 strikes in Germany in 2020, said Thern. “It only took three thunderstorms for this high lightning density to be recorded in Wolfsburg,” the expert continued. “For the urban and rural districts in the top 10, most of which are in Bavaria, the proximity to the edge of the Alps certainly plays a major role.”
In 2020, the main months for thunderstorm activity in Germany were June and August. The highest number of strikes measured in that country on a single day – 89,517 – was on June 13, 2020. Lower Saxony and Brandenburg were the German states most affected, followed by Mecklenburg Western-Pomerania. BLIDS recorded the highest number of measured ground flashes in a German state on a single day – more than 27,000 – in Lower Saxony on June 13, 2020, followed by Bavaria with 17,000 on the same date. Among the German states, Hamburg took the lead with 1.9 flashes per square kilometer, Bavaria followed with 1.6 flashes and Lower Saxony with 1.4. The city state of Bremen was last on the list with only 0.5 flashes per square meter. Topping the list of Germany’s state capitals was Munich (2.3), followed by Hamburg (1.9) and Magdeburg (1.6). Mainz, with a lightning density below 0.1, and Düsseldorf (0.4) were the two German state capitals with the lowest number of lightning strikes in 2020. In the two Bavarian cities with the lowest lightning densities, lightning struck only once in Coburg and twice in Bamberg in the whole of 2020.
An average of 1.1 lightning strikes per square kilometer was registered in Germany in 2020. In 2021, the average was still 0.9. Compared to its neighbors, the country was in the middle of the pack. Measured lightning densities across Europe range from 0.03 in Ireland and Scotland to highs of 8 to 10 in and around Trieste, a city in the tri-border region of Italy, Slovenia and Croatia. In 2020, the countries bordering the Adriatic Sea and the Italian Riviera were among the continent’s most active thunderstorm regions. Various lightning information service providers in the individual countries contribute to the European results. “Thanks to the excellent cooperation and coordination among the various weather and measurement services all across Europe, a homogeneous European measurement network can be made available although standards differ from country to country,” said Stephan Thern. “As a result, it’s possible to provide customers and users with measurement data in consistent quality.”
Siemens’ lightning information service uses around 160 connected measurement stations in Europe and supports the measurement network in Germany, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the Benelux countries, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary. Due to the system’s precise measurement technology, its sensors can be set up without difficulty at intervals of 350 kilometers, keeping down the cost of installation, operation and maintenance. “With the latest software, we can detect – to an accuracy of 50 meters – where exactly lightning has just struck,” said Thern. 
Since 1991, Siemens has been analyzing detected lightning strikes and immediately sending warning notices to its thunderstorm alarm customers – to protect people, animals, technology and infrastructure. Customers of Siemens’ lightning information service are meteorological services, insurance providers, and industrial companies across all sectors as well as power grid operators, (sports) facilities and fire departments. Service providers that offer thunderstorm warning notices, such as a siren manufacturer in Cologne, also use the data from BLIDS. In Germany, lightning strikes cause damage in the three-digit million euro range every year. “We can help determine whether a strike of lightning has caused damage or an outage,” said Stephan Thern. Lightning strikes cause a great deal of damage to electrical appliances and to complex facilities, such as sports facilities. The highly sensitive electronics usually found in televisions, satellite receivers, washing machines and industrial control systems, for example, can even be damaged when lighting strikes a great distance away. Having proof of such strikes results in a cost saving for consumers and end users because lightning strikes are usually covered by insurance. The city of Munich’s fire protection authorities also use BLIDS to systematically inspect the lightning protection systems at the more than 1,200 municipally managed properties.
Thanks to advancing digitalization and the rapid increase in computing and storage capacities, BLIDS transmits data at increasingly higher speeds and levels of precision – now less than ten seconds after a lightning strike. The lightning information service also provides cloud-based solutions to enable customers to have lightning information on their computers and mobile devices.
Private individuals and customers can quickly find out about lightning strikes in much of Europe with the free BLIDS spy at (in German only). 
Siemens AG (Berlin and Munich) is a technology company focused on industry, infrastructure, transport, and healthcare. From more resource-efficient factories, resilient supply chains, and smarter buildings and grids, to cleaner and more comfortable transportation as well as advanced healthcare, the company creates technology with purpose adding real value for customers. By combining the real and the digital worlds, Siemens empowers its customers to transform their industries and markets, to transform the everyday for billions of people. Siemens also owns a majority stake in the publicly listed company Siemens Healthineers, a globally leading medical technology provider shaping the future of healthcare. In addition, Siemens holds a minority stake in Siemens Energy, a global leader in the transmission and generation of electrical power. In fiscal 2020, which ended on September 30, 2020, the Siemens Group generated revenue of €55.3 billion and net income of €4.2 billion. As of September 30, 2020, the company had around 293,000 employees worldwide. Further information is available on the Internet at
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Bernhard Lott

Siemens AG

+49 174 156 0693

Bernhard Wardin

Siemens AG

+49 173 327 0510

Julia Wiemer

Siemens AG

+49 173 590 1277