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Where does lightning strike? New maps pinpoint 36.8 million yearly ground strike points

Still Waters

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Lightning flashes in thunderstorms at least 60 times per second somewhere around the planet, sometimes even near the North Pole.

Each giant spark of electricity travels through the atmosphere at 200,000 miles per hour. It is hotter than the surface of the sun and delivers thousands of times more electricity than the power outlet that charges your smartphone. That’s why lightning is so dangerous.

Lightning kills or injures about 250,000 people around the world every year, most frequently in developing countries, where many people work outside without lightning-safe shelters nearby. In the United States, an average of 28 people were killed by lightning every year between 2006 and 2023. Each year, insurance pays about US$1 billion in claims for lightning damage, and around 4 million acres of land burn in lightning-caused wildfires.


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There are some very interesting charts and information  within the link.

I especially found this one interesting.  Looking at the chart...lightning is most intense along the Gulf Coast, and becomes less dense over all as you travel north.  



U.S. states ranked by total lightning density in 2023

Lightning density copy edited.png

Edited by joc
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  • 1 month later...

We've known for some time that the old adage about the repeat performance of lightning is not, in fact, true. The powerful bolts of electricity from the sky can, and frequently do, make contact with Earth in the same place more than once?

It would be strange if it didn't, to be honest. Around the world, we record some 44 lightning strikes every second. One imagines that it'd run out of places to strike if it couldn't return to places lightning had already been.

Nevertheless, some places are more susceptible to repeated strikes than others. And now, a team of scientists led by electrical engineer Gloria Sola of the Technical University of Catalonia in Barcelona has worked out what some of those places are: really high ones, or steep slopes.


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