We compare the performance of three different filters that identify solar artifacts in the Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) data. These filters differ in their complexity and intended use. We use the most appropriate filters to document the severity of GLM solar contamination and to compute the frequency of extreme Americas lightning. Solar artifacts occur at an average rate of one every ∼8 min. Due to their continuous emissions across a portion of the GLM CCD array, these events disproportionately contribute to the GLM event and group rates. Up to 40% of all events recorded between 10:00 and 12:00 local time during 2018 were solar artifacts. The frequency-domain solar filter also reveals a carrier wave at 50 to 60 Hz in some lightning flashes and solar episodes that appears to be anthropogenic in origin. Removing the relatively frequent solar artifact cases reveals rare cases of extreme lightning flashes. Exceptional flashes on the order of 500+ km in length and 10+ s in duration only occur a few times per year and are produced by storms that are predisposed for exceptional lightning rather than as single random occurrences.
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