Spectacular image of lightning
Click on image for full size
Courtesy of Corel Photography
Things You Probably Don't Know About Lightning
News story originally written on June 25, 1999
Everyone knows that lightning is very dangerous. But how much do you really know about lightning? Do you know how it really works? How many people are killed or injured each year? Where do most lightning deaths occur? Below are some interesting facts about those dangerous flashes.
So, how deadly is lightning? On average, about 100 people are killed in the United States every year. This is actually more than tornadoes or hurricanes! Also, a large majority of lightning strike victims is male. This may be due to the large number of male golfers and football players!
Can you guess which state holds the title of "Deadliest State"? If you're thinking of a state in the famous Tornado Alley, you're wrong. It's not Oklahoma or Texas. The title actually belongs to.... Florida. That's right! Twice as many lightning casualties occur in Florida than any other state. Not surprising, is the fact that most deaths occur on Sunday than any other day of the week. Why? Because it is the most popular day to be out on the golf course!
The most important thing to remember, is that safety comes first during an electric storm. So, when your local meteorologist predicts a thunderstorm in the afternoon, (which happens to be the time of day with the most lightning strikes) don't head out to the local golf course. You may get much more than you bargained for!
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
Our online store
includes issues of NESTA's quarterly journal, The Earth Scientist
, full of classroom activities on different topics in Earth and space science, ranging from seismology
, rocks and minerals
, and Earth system science
You might also be interested in:
Lightning is the most spectacular element of a thunderstorm. In fact it is how thunderstorms got their name. Wait a minute, what does thunder have to do with lightning? Well, lightning causes thunder....more
As a strong hurricane heads towards the coast, people prepare - boarding up houses, packing the car, and evacuating. These storms can spell disaster for people in hurricane prone areas, so they are taken...more
The land in the central United States is the best breeding ground for the storms which produce tornadoes. The land in the Great Plains is relatively flat, which allows cold dry polar air from Canada to...more
Thunderstorms are one of the most thrilling and dangerous types of weather phenomena. Over 40,000 thunderstorms occur throughout the world each day. Thunderstorms form when very warm, moist air rises into...more
It was another exciting and frustrating year for the space science program. It seemed that every step forward led to one backwards. Either way, NASA led the way to a great century of discovery. Unfortunately,...more
The Space Shuttle Discovery lifted off from Kennedy Space Center on October 29th at 2:19 p.m. EST. The weather was great as Discovery took 8 1/2 minutes to reach orbit. This was the United States' 123rd...more
A moon was discovered orbiting the asteroid, Eugenia. This is only the second time in history that a satellite has been seen circling an asteroid. A special mirror allowed scientists to find the moon...more