All The Lightning Facts You Never Knew: Part One

  • Lightning strikes more than eight million times a day. 

Let’s learn all the lightning facts! Like, lightning is the most powerful electrical source on earth.

Lightning is hotter than the sun and can kill you from above.

Lightning strikes more than eight million times a day. 

It strikes 100 times a second around the world.

A bolt of lightening superheats the surrounding air, causing it to rapidly expand and explode. The
shockwave creaks the thunder crack.

Most lighting never touches the ground, but instead discharges inside the thunder clouds.

Lightning can strike anywhere on Earth when it leaves the clouds.

A lighting strike delivers a trillion watts of electricity. This is enough energy to power an entire city.

America’s lightning hotspot runs through Florida in an area known as Lightening Alley.

Lightning Alley sees over 50 strikes per square mile. And every year, people get hit.

1 of every 10 lightning strike victims dies instantly. This is one of the most sad lightning facts.

Across North America, more people are killed by lighting than by tornadoes and hurricanes.

The heart of equatorial Africa has more lighting strikes than anywhere else on Earth.

Lighting strikes in the Congo Basin more than twice as often as in Florida.

Not all lighting strikes can be seen with the naked eye.

You can measure lightning you can’t see with an optical sensor that beeps every time there’s a flash from the lightning.

An average lightning storm has about two strikes per minute. In the Congo Basin, there more than 60 strikes per minute.

Thunder clouds are anvil-shaped clouds.

The clouds that form lightning are the largest clouds in the atmosphere.

A cloud is like a battery but instead of 1 1/2 volts, it’s 100,000,000 volts. Wow, this is one of the most shocking lightning facts.

Scientists still don’t know how ice-particle collisions result in the generation of lightning.

Lightning is hard to study because a strike lasts only a fraction of a second.

To best study lightning, you freeze the action, using a camera.

You have to find the lighting to capture it with a camera and you do that by finding the “best” thunderstorm clouds.

One of the craziest lightning facts is that it can strike anything and anyone from up to 25 miles away from a cloud.

When observed with the naked eye, lightning seems to travel from the clouds to the ground. But advances reveal that it’s more complex.

When shot in slow motion and later reviewed, footage shows a flash of light dart out of a cloud and zigzag downwards in roughly 50 yard segments. This is the first stage of lightning called a step leader.

When the step leader gets closer to Earth, it effects things on the ground. Things respond to the electrical field by growing positive streamers. They reach up between three and a few hundred feet from the ground.

When a step leader and a positive streamer meet, the electric charge can drain to Earth, resulting in lightning.

The main part of a lighting strike is when the entire field of view lights up and that’s what your eyes catch.

New cameras allow scientists to record a strike lasting just a fraction of a second and then play it back over 200 times slower to analyze it.

New research has revealed that hot and humid city environments cause much more frequent lightning storms.

Tampa, Florida is the lightning capitol of the United States. This is one of the most interesting lightning facts.

A city can be as much as 15 degrees warmer than the surrounding rural areas.

As warm air rises it creates strong upward convection in the atmosphere over cities and can cause more thunderstorms. Convergence zones are created above the city and “help” to lift the air, initiating more thunderstorms.

Simply put, more thunderstorms equal more lightning.

For more, read All The Lightning Facts You Never Knew: Part Two. Just click the link!

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