Interesting facts about lightning strikes

With over 300,000 lightning strikes that hit the ground across the UK every year, here are some interesting facts about lightning that you might not know about.

There are a lot of lightning strikes ever year.

Every single day of the year, across the planet, there are lighting strikes. While it is impossible to track and count every single one, there are around 3 million flashes of lightning every single day!

Not as thick as you thought

When you see video and images of lightning, the bolts of lightning look relatively big. But in actual fact, the width of a lightning bolt is only around 2-3 cm!

Longer than you might think

While the width of a lightning bolt may only be 2-3 cm, the average length of a lightning bolt is between 2-3 miles.

Hotter than the sun

As the electrical charge passes down a lightning bolt, the intensity is such that a lightning bolt can reach up to 30,000 °C. To put that into context, the surface of the sun is around 10,000 °C.

How does lightning destroys trees?

When lightning hits a tree, it actually connects with the moisture below the bark in a layer filled with water and sap. Because of the intense heat of a lightning bolt, this layer of tree instantly expands and causes the bark to blast off and split the wood of the tree.

Scotland doesn’t come close when it comes to lightning strikes.

With over 300,000 lightning strikes that hit the ground across the UK every year, you may think that this is a lot. But in Venezuela, massive thunderstorms form more than a third the year!

Where is it?

If you want to know how far away a lighting thunderstorm is, simply count the seconds between a flash of lightning and the boom of thunder that follows it. Then divide that number by 5 (you can use the calculator on your phone). This will tell you how many miles away it is.