When Lightning Strikes

Links:

NWS Lightning Safety

NOAA Weather Radio

NWS Jetstream - Online School for Weather

Credits:

NOAA National Weather Service

NOAA National Ocean Service

Jim Edds - extremestorms.com

NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center - Conceptual Image Lab

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Transcript

NARRATOR:
Lightning is a rapid discharge of electrical energy in the atmosphere.

Each spark can span over five miles in length, reach temperatures hotter than the surface of the sun and contain 100 million volts of electricity.

Lightning strikes are not only dangerous, they can be deadly.

The electrostatic discharge occurs within a cloud, between clouds, or between a cloud and the ground.

Lightning doesn't strike the ocean as much as land, but when it does, it spreads out over the water, which acts as a conductor. It can hit boats that are nearby, and electrocute fish that are near the surface.

If you're at the beach and hear thunder or see lightning, get out of the water. Get off the beach and take shelter in a building or in your car. If you're at sea, head back to a shelter on land. If you can't, either stay low in the boat or retreat to a cabin. Do not use electronic equipment during the storm.

Every year, millions of lightning flashes fill our skies. Each one has the potential to cause a devastating and shocking impact.