Lightning truly is something to marvel at. As a child, you may have been told that thunder and lightning is caused by an argument between the clouds - and this actually isn’t too far off the truth either. Lightning is caused by imbalances between storm clouds and the ground, or within the clouds themselves, and this creates an electrical discharge that seeks to remedy this imbalance.
As one of nature’s phenomenons, it is one of the most beautiful displays on our Earth, but also one of the most dangerous. As experts in lightning protection and earthing, we understand how utterly brilliant lightning can be - here are some interesting facts about lightning.
A single bolt
A single bolt of lightning reaches around 27,000 degrees Celsius - this is hotter than the sun’s surface, which is only 5,600 degrees Celsius. Each bolt has over 100 million volts of electricity and travels at 270,000 mph before hitting the surface.
The fear of thunder and lightning has a few different names but is most commonly known as astraphobia. The phobia is also known as astrapophobia, brontophobia or keraunophobia (all derived from Greek words or from the names of gods of thunder and lightning). This phobia can develop in humans and animals alike.
The odds of you being struck is 1 in 3,000 throughout your entire life but the odds increase or decrease based on where you live. For example, Antarctica, Greenland and Patagonia are pretty safe options, whereas the Americas and Northern Australia are more likely places to get struck. Wherever you are, it’s pretty unlikely you’ll get struck by lightning but, for those who have, 90% live to see another day.
The most lightning-struck location
Perhaps not something to boast about, but Lake Maracaibo in Venezuela experiences the most lightning strikes on Earth. Thunderstorms occur 140-160 nights throughout the year. During a 10 hour night, lightning can strike 28 times per minute on average. That’s roughly 40,000 strikes in a whole night!
Helicopters cause lightning
As helicopters can acquire a negative charge whilst flying, they can trigger a lightning strike if they fly too close to an area that is positively charged (hail, for example).
Lightning is one of the biggest causes of weather-related deaths each year, but did you know it can also damage buildings, ruin your electrics and start fires? Electrical equipment damage is usually caused by insufficient grounding or poor earth rod installation. History has seen it’s fair share of lightning damage too - did you know, in 217 A.D., lightning struck the Colosseum in Rome and incinerated the entire structure?
At Rodells Ltd., we specialise in protecting your homes and businesses from lightning. “Weather” you’d like to know it or not (see what we did there?), lightning could severely damage your property and affect your business operations. For professional lightning protection in St Albans and surrounding areas, contact us today.