Weather Facts

Lightning - Things you may not know about this deadly and damaging phenomenon

Many people do not realize how truly dangerous lightning is and how mysterious this weather phenomenon can be. Here are some general facts about lightning: Lightning kills more people on average than flooding, hurricanes and tornadoes. Lightning is also extremely hot. It is roughly six times hotter than the surface of the sun. That is why it can result in a fire when it hits a structure, such as a house. Years ago, when there was more metal in the plumbing of the average home, the metal pipes were able to carry the charge harmlessly into the ground. Homes are now built with more PVC piping, which is basically plastic, so there is less metal in our homes to carry the charge into the ground. The lightning capital of the continental U.S. is Florida. Almost every day during the late spring and summer, there are thunderstorms occurring somewhere in the stateÖ. Lightning requires there to be ice in the clouds, so that is why it could rain very heavy with no lightning at all. Tropical Cyclones normally donít have a great deal of lightning due to the fact that they are warm-core systems... Your hair may stand on end just prior to a lightning strike. Lightning can and does strike the same place twice and actually it strikes some things many times. Tall buildings get struck numerous times... Also, see my weather fact on heat lightning.