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What Happens During a Lightning Storm?

Lightning

Lightning

.. is nature's circuit breaker. This common atmospheric phenomenon is a flip switch that restores the natural electrical charge.

At any given moment, a 100 bolts of lightning strike the ground, while cloud-to-cloud strikes happen 10 times more frequently.

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What Happens During a Lightning Storm?

What Happens During a Lightning Storm?

https://www.thoughtco.com/things-to-never-do-during-lightning-storm-3444265

thoughtco.com

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Key Ideas

Lightning

.. is nature's circuit breaker. This common atmospheric phenomenon is a flip switch that restores the natural electrical charge.

At any given moment, a 100 bolts of lightning strike the ground, while cloud-to-cloud strikes happen 10 times more frequently.

Cause Of Lightning

Lightning occurs when the atmospheric charge between a cloud and the ground or a nearby cloud becomes unbalanced. This process builds up a negative charge on the underside and causes the ground below or cloud to develop a positive charge in response.

The imbalance of electrical energy increases until a bolt of lightning is released, either from cloud to ground or cloud to cloud, reinstating the electrical balance.

The Sound Of Thunder

..that is generated by the bolt of lightning is due to the extreme heat produced, causing the air to super-heat and expand. The resulting sonic wave is heard in a 25-mile radius. Light and sound always go together, with the sound following the light.

Facts About Lightning

  • The bolt of lightning is five times hotter than the sun.
  • It travels in a zigzag pattern at the rate of 200,00 miles per hour.
  • At about 150 feet before any impact on the ground (or object), the bolt of positive energy (called a streamer) travels upwards at 60,000 miles per second.
  • About 2000 people are killed every year worldwide by lightning.

Safety Tips During a Thunderstorm

.. as recommended by the National Weather Service:

  • Seek immediate shelter in a house or a structure with indoor electricity and plumbing. Closed vehicles are also safe.
  • Do not seek shelter beneath trees or poles.
  • Avoid metal plumbing or running water
  • Do not use landline phones or desktop computers, as electricity can travel in the cords. Using mobile phones is safe.
  • Stay away from doors and windows.

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