The UK's lightning hotspots revealed on a map

This map reveals the UK's lightning hotspots, with East Anglia, Yorkshire and parts of Wales most in the firing line.
Recorded by the Met Office's detection system, which can locate a lightning strike to within less than a mile in Britain - and within only a few miles in Europe - the bolts which hit the UK were concentrated in the summer months.  
The figures for the map cover every lightning strike on the UK in 2017 - a total of 48,765 which hit land, plus many more which dropped into the sea and ocean.
South Wales, the east coast of Norfolk and Suffolk, part of Cornwall and much of Yorkshire and the Humber region were particularly affected while much of Scotland, Ireland and the West Midlands were relatively free of lightning strikes. 
The months of May, June, July and August were the peak period for lightning strikes. In May there were some 16,584 hits, an average of more than five hundred per day.
The map, created by Esri, divides the country into a grid of hexagons, with larger and brighter dots showing a higher number of lightning strikes last year.  
Weather experts detect lightning with a system called ATDnet - which stands for Arrival Time Difference - using 11 sensors to locate the pulses.
Some of a lightning bolt's energy is visible in a flash to the naked eye but other electromagnetic emissions are very low-frequency and can only be picked up by the Met Office's systems. 
The programme, which can find and locate thunderstorms from more than 6,000 miles away, is operational around the clock, according to the organisation's website. 
Types include forked lightning and sheet lightning, but there are several others including a rare form in which the lightning stroke is slow enough to be visible to humans.  
Grahame Madge, a Met Office spokesman, said: 'The results of lightning strikes over the UK show that the peak period for the vast majority is from May to September. 
'Hardly surprising as the energy of hot weather combined with the potential for more humid conditions are the two key ingredients for thunderstorms and lightning activity.
'Thunderstorms can be a major hazard, creating the potential for direct damage from lightning strikes and also raising the risk of intense downpours which can result in extreme flash flooding, such as recorded in Coverack in Cornwall in July 2017. 
'Several other thunderstorms produced significant impacts during the late spring and summer.' 

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