9 Facts You Never Knew About Lightning

Posted in Insurance / Regina / Saskatoon / Stories

1. How much lightning is present in the world at any given time? Scientists estimate that Earth as a whole is struck by an average of more than one hundred lightning bolts every second. Think about that for a minute…there. 6000 bolts of lighting just struck the earth. We're living in a very active electromagnetic field of energy.


2. What are the odds of being stuck by lightning? The odds of becoming a lightning victim in the United States in any one year are 1 in 700,000. The odds of being struck over your lifetime are 1 in 3,000.


3. How many people die due to lightning strikes in a year? Lightning can kill people (3,696 deaths were recorded in the U.S. between 1959 and 2003) or cause cardiac arrest. Injuries range from severe burns and permanent brain damage to memory loss and personality change. About 10 percent of lightning-stroke victims are killed, and 70 percent suffer serious long-term effects. About 400 people survive lightning strikes in the U.S. each year.


4. Does lightning only occur during a thunderstorm? No, lightning is not confined just to thunderstorms. It's been seen in volcanic eruptions, extremely intense forest fires, tornados, surface nuclear detonations, heavy snowstorms, and even in large tropical hurricanes.


5. If your hair stands up in a storm, it could be a bad sign! When your hair stands on end during a storm it could mean that positive charges are rising through you, reaching toward the negatively charged part of the storm. That's not good! Your best bet is to get yourself immediately indoors.


6. Where's the safest place to be in a Thunderstorm? People should stay away from windows and doors and avoid contact with anything that conducts electricity, including corded (landline) telephones. The majority of people hurt by lightning while inside their homes are talking on the telephone at the time. Also you should refrain from doing laundry, dishes, bathing, showering, making contact with concrete walls or using electronic devices.

7. Rubber shoes will not give you any meaningful protection from lightning. The average lightning bolt carries about 30,000 amps of charge, around 100 million volts of electric potential, and is about 27,000°C. Your Crocks aren't going to hold up against that kind of heat!


8. Lightning can—and often does—strike in the same place twice. Tall buildings, lightning rods, tall metal poles, and monuments are frequently hit by lightning.


9. Take caution this summer and don't ever risk it in a Thunderstorm. In the United States, more lightning strikes happen on the 4th of July because more people are outside enjoying the weather. If a storm's rolling in get off the golf course or out of the pool and get somewhere safe!