Lightning during summer thunderstorms (in Fulda / archive picture)
Photo: A9999 Db Martin Angelstein / dpa
Wolfsburg is the German capital - at least when it comes to the number of lightning bolts.
There were 5.8 impacts per square kilometer there last year.
That is more than in any other urban or rural district, as measurements by the Siemens lightning information service show.
According to the scientists involved, this continues a trend.
In second and third place, the lightning atlas published on Thursday leads the city of Kempten and the district of Miesbach in Bavaria with 5.1 and 4.7 lightning bolts per square kilometer.
"What was remarkable about the 2020 lightning strike was that the thunderstorm fronts mainly took place in northern and southern Germany and virtually excluded the center of Germany," says Stephan Thern, head of Siemens' lightning information service.
"The fact that the front runners are increasingly to be found in the north is a development that we have only observed in recent years."
The lightning-richest day was June 13, 2020 with more than 89,000 impacts.
With this counting method, lightning always means lightning strikes or earth lightning, no discharges within the clouds.
2020 was dry - therefore less lightning
In total, there were almost 400,000 impacts in Germany last year - around 21 percent more than in 2019, which was, however, an extremely low-lightning year.
In 2007, for example, there were more than a million impacts.
Last year, however, it was too dry for such high values: Thunderstorms typically form at high temperatures and humidity.
In the current year, on the other hand, the weather is again significantly more lightning.
By midnight last Tuesday, there had been almost as many lightning bolts as there had been in all of 2020.
Last year's lightning strikes led to around 200,000 reported claims at German insurers.
There are fewer than ever since statistics were introduced in 1998, as the industry association GDV explains.
However, the average damage of 1300 euros is higher than ever.
This is due to the increasingly better technical equipment in houses and households.
The bottom line is that the amount of damage has increased by 10 to 260 million euros since 2019.
Coburg and Bamberg only saw a few lightning bolts
According to Siemens, last year the highest lightning density by federal state was in Hamburg with 1.9 per square kilometer, followed by Bavaria with 1.6 and Lower Saxony with 1.4.
The lightning-poorest countries last year were Hesse and Thuringia with 0.6 each and Bremen with 0.5.
Last year Coburg and Bamberg were largely safe from lightning.
In the two cities with the lowest lightning strike, only one or two lightning strikes were measured in the whole year.
This corresponds to densities of 0.02 and 0.04, respectively.
Mainz was in third place with 0.09 lightning bolts per square kilometer.
Across Europe, the country triangle Italy, Slovenia and Croatia led the lightning rankings in 2020 with values of 8 to 10 lightning strikes per square kilometer.
In Ireland and Scotland, on the other hand, it is only 0.3.
The lightning strikes are measured with the help of around 160 interconnected measuring stations in Europe.
Although there are up to 350 kilometers between the sensors, the lightning strikes can be determined with an accuracy of up to 50 meters.
jok / dpa