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Lightning density data

The Canadian Lightning Detection Network provides lightning monitoring across most of Canada. The data distributed here represents a spatio-temporal aggregation of the observations of this network available with an accuracy of a few hundred meters. More precisely, every 10 minutes, the reported observations are processed in the following way:

  • The location of observed lightning (cloud-to-ground and intra-cloud) in the last 10 minutes is extracted.
  • Using a regular horizontal grid of about 2.5km by 2.5km, the number of observed lightning flashes within each grid cell is calculated.
  • These grid data are normalized by the exact area of each cell (in km2) and by the accumulation period (10min) to obtain an observed flash density expressed in km-2 and min-1
  • A mask is applied to remove data located more than 250km from Canadian land or sea borders.


How to access the data

This data is available on the MSC Datamart data server services as well as MSC GeoMet:

An overview and examples to access and use the Meteorological Service of Canada's open data is available.


The end-user licence for Environment and Climate Change Canada's data servers specifies the conditions of use for this data.

MSC Open Data Service Usage Policy

The MSC Open Data Service Usage Policy determines what constitutes an acceptable use of MSC Open Data services and provides users best practices for optimal use.


The metadata of the Lightning Density Data is available on the Open Government Portal.

Technical documentation

Lightning: Lightning danger map, safety, statistics, science, frequently asked questions