Tag Archives: washington monument

Lightning Strikes

Lightning strikes across Alaska in 2020; Map credit: Vaisala

Alaska had 415,231 lightning strikes statewide in 2020. That may seem like a lot, but it’s nothing compared to Texas. In 2020, the Second Largest State in the U.S. had 33,816,168 strikes, which led the nation. The Lone Star state also had the #1 slot in 2019.

Florida led the U.S. in strikes per square mile, with 194 events.

Rhode Island had the least lightning events with only 8551 in 2020.

There were 170 million lightning events across the United States in 2020, which was a drop of 52 million from the previous year.

Even the high Arctic receives some flashes. There were 192 events north of 85°N over the course of two days: July 1-2.

The Washington Monuments was struck on June 4.

Vaisala’s U.S. National Lightning Detection Network, records both in-cloud, and cloud to ground lightning flashes.

Source: Vaisala Annual Lightning Report: 2020


Not all that glitters in Alaska is gold

This 5495 pound copper nugget was uncovered near Dan Creek, in the Wrangell Mountains, during placer mining activities in 1936.

Copper ore was originally discovered in a lode at the mouth of Dan Creek in July of 1899. The Nikolai Mine was founded the next year. The Bonanza ore body was discovered in August of 1900.

Jade is the official gem stone of Alaska. This 3550 pound jade boulder was found near the Kobuk River. Some jade boulders have been found within the state weighing upwards of two tons. Jade Mountain, on the Seward Peninsula, is an entire mountain of jade.


Green jade from Jade Mountain

At the 450 foot level on the West Wall of the Washington Monument, is a stone from the State of Alaska, honoring George Washington. Inserted into the wall on February 22, 1982, the two foot by three foot stone is made out of jade from Jade Mountain.