One of the most magnificent natural phenomena, lightning is often believed to be an infrequent occurrence. In actuality, lightning hits the earth an estimated 100 times per second on average, or 8.6 million times a day.
It is estimated that the U.S. alone receives as many as 20 million cloud-to-ground lightning strikes per year from perhaps 100,000 thunderstorms.
Enlightening Facts & Safety Tips About Lightning
- Average Lightning Stroke is 6 miles long.
- The Temperature of lightning's return stroke can reach 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit. The surface of the sun is not even that hot! (around 11,000 degrees Fahrenheit).
- Average Thunderstorm is 6 to 10 miles wide.
- Average Thunderstorm travels at a rate of 25 miles per hour.
- Once the leading edge of a thunderstorm approaches to within 10 miles, you are at immediate risk due to the possibility of lightning strokes coming from overhanging anvil cloud. Because of this, many lightning deaths and injuries occur with clear skies directly overhead.
- On average, thunder can only be heard over a distance of 3 to 4 miles, depending on humidity, terrain, and other factors.
- Approximately 100,000 thunderstorms occur in the United States each year.
- Approximately 10% of all thunderstorms are severe enough to produce high winds, flash floods, and tornadoes.
- Thunderstorms cause an average of 200 deaths and 700 injuries in the United States each year.