Struck by Lightning

Lightning is extremely hot—a flash can heat the air around it to temperatures five times hotter than the sun’s surface. This heat causes surrounding air to rapidly expand and vibrate, which creates the pealing thunder we hear a short time after seeing a lightning flash. About 2,000 people are killed worldwide by lightning each year. Hundreds more survive strikes but suffer from a variety of lasting symptoms, including memory loss, dizziness, weakness, numbness, and other life-altering ailments.

Some ways to keep safe from a thunder storm is to stay about 40 metres away from a person or group of people, not touch anything metal and to turn all electronics off.

To make lightening You need cold air and warm air. When they meet, the warm air goes up. It makes thunderstorm clouds! The cold air has ice crystals. The warm air has water droplets. During the storm, the droplets and crystals bump together and move apart in the air. This rubbing makes static electrical charges in the clouds.

Just like a battery, these clouds have a "plus" end and a "minus" end. The plus, or positive, charges in the cloud are at the top. The minus, or negative, charges are at the bottom. When the charge at the bottom gets strong enough, the cloud lets out energy.

The energy goes through the air. It goes to a place that has the opposite charge. This lightning bolt of energy that is let out is called a leader stroke. It can go from the cloud to the ground. Or, a leader stroke can go from the cloud to another cloud. No one is sure why lightning bolts follow a zigzag path as they move. The main bolt or stroke will go back up to the cloud. It will make a flash of lightning. It will also heat the air. The air will spread quickly. It will make the sound we hear as thunder.