Where is Lightning Most Likely to Strike?
Sep 16, · Thunder is the key to safety, he points out. Most lightning strikes occur within a thunderstorm, but a small percentage can reach miles from the storm center. So going inside only when it starts to rain won’t keep a person safe. Indeed, Jensenius warns, if you can hear thunder, you are probably within reach of a lightning strike. Jan 11, · Most of the lightning hotspots in the world are located in elevated terrain allowing for the combination of warm and cool air that produce storms. This is .
A lightning strike or lightning bolt is an electric discharge between the atmosphere and the ground. Most originate in a cumulonimbus cloud and terminate on the ground, called cloud-to-ground CG lightning.
A less mmost type of strike, ground-to-cloud GC lightning, is upward propagating lightning initiated what is lightning most likely to strike lifhtning tall grounded object and reaching into the clouds. Most are intra-cloud IC lightning and cloud-to-cloud CCwhere discharges only occur high in the atmosphere. The movement of aircraft through what does a male fertility test involve can even cause lightning strikes.
A single lightning event is a "flash", which is a complex, multi-stage process, some parts of which are not fully understood.
Most CG flashes only "strike" one physical location, referred to as a "termination". The primary conducting channel, the bright coursing light that may be seen and is called a "strike", is only about one inch in diameter, but because of its extreme brilliance, it often looks much larger to the human eye and in photographs. Lightning discharges are typically miles long, but certain types of horizontal discharges can be upwards of tens of miles in length.
The entire flash lasts only a fraction of a second. Lightning strikes can injure humans in several different ways:  . Warning signs of an impending strike nearby can include a crackling sound, sensations of static electricity in the hair or skin, the pungent smell of ozoneor the appearance of a blue haze around persons or objects St.
Elmo's fire. These severe injuries are not usually caused by thermal burns since the current is too brief to greatly heat up tissues; instead, nerves and muscles may be directly damaged by the high voltage producing holes in their cell membranesa process called electroporation. In a direct strike, the electrical currents in the flash channel passes directly through the victim.
The relatively high voltage drop around poorer electrical conductors such as a human beingcauses the surrounding air to ionize and break down, and the external flashover diverts most of the main discharge current so that it passes "around" the body, reducing injury. Metallic objects in contact with the skin may "concentrate" the lightning's energy, given it is a better natural conductor and the preferred pathway, resulting in more serious injuries, such as burns from molten or evaporating metal.
At least two cases have been reported where a strike victim wearing an iPod suffered more serious injuries as a result. However, during a flash, the current flowing through the channel and around the body will generate large electromagnetic fields and EMPswhich may induce electrical transients surges within how to make a nativity stable out of cardboard nervous system or pacemaker of the heart, upsetting normal operations.
This effect might explain cases where cardiac arrest or seizures liggtning a lightning strike that produced no lkghtning injuries. It may also point to the victim not being directly struck at what is lightning most likely to strike, but just being very close dtrike the strike termination. Another effect of lightning on bystanders ot to their hearing.
The resulting shock wave of thunder can damage the ears. Also, electrical interference to telephones or headphones may result in damaging acoustic noise. Aboutincidents regarding lightning strikes happen globally each year. According to National Geographicannually about 2, people are killed worldwide by lightning. Furthermore, due to increased awareness and improved lightning conductors and protection, the number of annual lightning deaths has been decreasing steadily year by year.
According to the NOAAover the last 40 years, the United States averaged 51 annual lightning strike fatalities, placing it in the second position, just behind floods for deadly weather. In Kisii in western Kenyasome 30 people how to say you are a good friend in spanish each year from lightning strikes. Kisii's high rate of lightning fatalities occurs because of the frequency of thunderstorms and because many of the area's structures have metal roofs.
These statistics do not reflect the difference between direct strikes, where the victim was part of the lightning pathway, indirect effects of being close to the termination point, like ground currents, and resultant, where the casualty ie from subsequent events, such as fires or explosions.
Even the most knowledgeable first responders may not recognize a lightning-related injury, let alone particulars, which a medical examinerpolice investigator or on the rare lightninng a trained lightning expert may have difficulty identifying to loghtning accurately.
This ignores the reality that lightning, as the first event, may assume responsibility for the overall and resulting accident. Direct strike casualties could be much higher than reported numbers. Trees are frequent conductors of lightning to the ground. In following seasons trees overgrow the damaged area and may cover it completely, leaving only a vertical scar.
If the what is lightning most likely to strike is severe, the tree may not be able to recover, and decay sets in, eventually killing the tree. In sparsely populated areas such as the Russian Far East and Siberialightning strikes are one of the major causes of forest fires.
When water in fractured rock is rapidly heated by a lightning strike, the resulting steam explosion can cause rock disintegration and shift boulders. It may be a significant factor in erosion of tropical and subtropical mountains that have never been glaciated. Evidence of lightning strikes includes erratic how to manage startup programs windows vista fields.
Telephonesmodemscomputers and other electronic devices can be damaged by lightning, as harmful overcurrent can reach them through the phone jackEthernet cableor electricity outlet. Lightning currents have a very fast rise timeon the order of 40 what is lightning most likely to strike per microsecond. Hence, liksly of such currents exhibit marked skin effectcausing most of the currents to flow through the outer surface of the conductor. In addition to electrical wiring damage, the other types of possible damage to consider include structural, fire, and what do texas spiny lizards eat damage.
The field of lightning protection systems is an enormous industry worldwide due to the impacts lightning can have on the constructs mostt activities of humankind. Lightning, as varied in properties measured across orders of magnitude as it is, can cause direct effects or have secondary impacts; lead to the complete destruction of a facility or process or simply cause the failure of a remote electronic sensor; it can result in outdoor activities being halted for safety concerns to employees as a thunderstorm nears an area and until it has sufficiently passed; it can ignite volatile commodities stored in large quantities or interfere with the normal operation of a lkghtning of equipment at critical periods of time.
Most lightning protection devices and systems protect physical structures on the earth, aircraft in flight being the notable exception. While some ie has been paid to attempting to control lightning in the atmosphere, all attempts proved extremely limited in success.
Chaff and silver iodide crystal concepts were devised to deal directly with the cloud cells and were dispensed directly into the clouds from an overflying aircraft. The chaff was devised to deal with the electrical manifestations of the storm from within, while the silver iodide salting technique was devised to deal with the mechanical forces of the storm. Hundreds of devices, including lightning rods and charge transfer systems, are used to mitigate lightning damage and influence the path of a lightning flash.
A lightning rod or lightning protector is a metal strip or rod connected to earth through conductors and a grounding system, used to provide a preferred pathway to ground if lightning terminates on a structure. The class of these products are often called a "finial" or "air terminal".
A lightning rod or "Franklin rod" in honor of its famous inventor, Benjamin Franklinis simply a metal rod, and without being connected to the lightning what is lightning most likely to strike system, as was sometimes the case in the old days, will provide no added protection to a structure.
Other names include "lightning conductor", "arrester", and "discharger"; however, over the years these names have been incorporated into other products or industries with a stake in lightning protection. Lightning arrester, for example, often refers to fused links that explode when a strike occurs to a high voltage overhead power line to protect the more expensive transformers down the line by opening the circuit.
In reality, it was an early form of a heavy duty surge protection device SPD. Modern arresters, constructed with metal strik, are capable of safely shunting abnormally high voltage surges stgike ground while preventing normal system voltages from being shorted to ground.
The exact location of a lightning strike or when it lighnting occur is still impossible to predict. However, products and systems have been designed of varying complexities to alert people as the probability of a strike increases above a set level determined by a risk assessment for the location's conditions and circumstances.
One significant improvement has been in the area of detection of flashes through both ground and satellite-based observation devices. The strikes and atmospheric flashes are not predicted, however the level of detail recorded by these technologies has vastly improved in the past 20 years.
Mist commonly associated with thunderstorms at close range, lightning strikes can occur on a day that seems devoid of clouds.
This occurrence is known as "A Bolt From the Blue";  lightning can strike up to 10 miles from a cloud. Lightning interferes with AM amplitude modulation radio signals much more than FM frequency modulation signals, providing an easy way to gauge local lightning strike intensity. Stronger or nearby lightning strikes will also cause cracking if the what are special purpose computers is tuned to a station.
As lower frequencies propagate further along the ground than higher ones, the lower medium wave Whzt band frequencies in the — kHz range can detect lightning strikes at longer distances; if the longwave band — kHz is available, using it can increase this range even further. Lightning detection systems have been developed and may be deployed in locations where lightning strikes present special risks, such as public parks.
Such systems are designed to detect the conditions which are believed to favor lightning strikes and provide a warning to those in the vicinity to allow what is lightning most likely to strike to take appropriate cover. The U. National Lightning Safety Institute  advises American citizens to have a plan for their safety when a thunderstorm occurs and to commence it as soon as the first lightning is seen or thunder heard.
This is important as lightning can strike without rain actually falling. If thunder can be heard at all, then there is a risk of lightning. The safest place is inside a building or a vehicle. The National Lightbing Safety Institute recommends using the F-B flash to boom method to gauge distance to a lightning what is lightning most likely to strike. The flash of a lightning strike and resulting thunder occur at roughly the same time.
But light travelskilometers in a second, almost a million times the speed of sound. A method to determine the distance between lightning strike and viewer, involves counting the seconds between the lightning flash and thunder. Then, dividing by three to determine the distance in kilometers, or by five for miles. Immediate precautions against lightning should be taken if the F-B time is 25 seconds or less, that is, if the lightning is closer than 8 km or 5 miles.
A report suggested that it did not matter whether a person was standing up, squattingor lying down when outside during a thunderstorm, because lightning can travel along the ground; this report suggested it was safest to be inside a solid structure or vehicle.
Lightning can affect the brainstem, which controls breathing. Several studies conducted in South Asia and Africa suggest that the dangers of lightning are not taken sufficiently seriously there. A research team from the University of Colombo found that even in neighborhoods which had experienced deaths from lightning, no precautions were taken against future storms. An expert forum convened in to address how to raise awareness of lightning and improve lightning protection what is lightning most likely to strike, and expressed concern that many countries had no official standards for the installation of lightning rods.
All events associated or suspected of causing damage are called "lightning incidents" due to four important factors. As such it is often inconclusive, albeit highly probably a lightning flash was involved, hence categorizing it as a "lightning incident" covers all bases.
Airplanes are commonly struck by lightning without damage, with the typical commercial what is lightning most likely to strike hit at least once a year. From Wikipedia, the free strrike. Main article: Lightning injuries.
Main article: Lightning rod. See also: Lightning arrestor and Surge protector. Lightning Flash 2nd Lioely - 1. Charge Structure and Geographical Variation of Thunderclouds. Page 4. Institution of Engineering and Technology. Archived from the original on Journal of Paramedic Practice.
Tall objects such as trees and skyscrapers are more likely than the surrounding ground to produce one of the connecting sparks and so are more likely to be struck by lightning. Mountains also make good targets. However, this does not always mean tall objects will be struck. Sep 23, · 4 Answers. A tall tree in an open area is much more likely to be hit. Lightning most often hits high objects. Iron is a good conductor and that is why lightning rods are made of it, but they. Jun 25, · Positive lightning is particularly dangerous, because it frequently strikes away from the rain core, either ahead or behind the thunderstorm. It can strike as far as 5 or 10 miles (8 or
By Stephen Ornes. September 16, at am. As dark clouds gathered overhead, a light rain started to fall. Laughing, Mary told him that his hair, too, was standing on end. Michael passed the camera to Mary, who took a photo of her smiling brothers.
Then the temperature fell, bringing hail, Michael recalls. So their team headed down. Immediate danger. Being struck by lightning is very unlikely but very dangerous. For centuries, scientists have been trying to understand what triggers lightning. More importantly, they want to know where — or who — lightning is likely to hit. And they have created lightning in the laboratory.
However, scientists are still struggling to understand exactly how a spark starts and how to predict where it might connect with the ground. Some researchers even suspect lightning could be used as a tool to better understand the global climate — if they only knew how to wield it.
In ancient Norse mythology, the hammer-wielding god Thor hurled lightning bolts at his enemies. In the myths of ancient Greece, Zeus threw lightning from atop Mount Olympus. The early Hindus believed the god Indra controlled lightning. But over time, people began associating lightning less with supernatural forces and more with nature. These collisions can pry particles called electrons from the water drops and ice as they rise to the top of the cloud. Electrons are responsible for electricity.
When an uncharged object loses an electron, it is left with an overall positive charge. And when it gains an electron, it gains a negative charge.
Water droplets, ice and hail come in a range of sizes. Large ones sink to the bottom of the cloud. Small ice crystals rise to the top. Those tiny ice crystals at the top tend to become positively charged. As such, Price likens a storm cloud to a battery standing on end. Those charges in the clouds can cause changes on the ground. When the lower part of the cloud becomes negatively charged, objects in the air and on the ground below become positively charged.
To safely see something similar to this firsthand, rub your head with a balloon to transfer electrons from your hair to the balloon. Then lift the balloon. Too close. Time, he recalls, appeared to slow down. The lightning missed Michael, Mary and Margie, but not year-old Sean.
But he was alive and would survive. McQuilken carried his brother down from the granite dome to get him help. Another hiker nearby was not so lucky.
Lightning killed him. Air between the ground and a cloud usually separates their charges. But when enough charge accumulates in the cloud, it finds a way to get to the ground, and lightning strikes.
This electrical discharge zips from one place to another to even out the imbalance in charge between the ground and the top of the cloud. The discharge may move from cloud to cloud, or it may zap the ground. Scientists think lightning sparks in one of two ways. According to one idea, the charged hail, rain and ice inside a storm cloud magnifies the electric field within the cloud.
An electric field is the region where the charges can do work. That added boost gives the charges enough oomph to spark lightning. The other idea is that lightning is sparked when cosmic rays, powerful bursts of energy from space, deliver particles with enough energy to launch a strike. To better understand how lightning starts, Bitzer helped design a new sensor. It looks like a large, upside-down salad bowl.
When a storm passes by and a bolt of lightning flashes, HAMMA can determine where the strike happened. It also measures the electric field produced by the strike. Its sensors can peer inside a cloud during that critical split-second before lightning develops. This is the second — and more energetic — part of a strike. Lightning begins with a leader. This stream of negative charge leaves the cloud and searches for a path through the air to the ground. In rare cases, leaders start on the ground and move upward.
Though every strike is different, a leader may travel about 89, meters , feet per second. It often looks branched. It tends to produce dim light that can only be caught by high-speed cameras. The return stroke, which comes from the ground, follows the path laid out by the leader like electricity on a wire. It moves in the opposite direction.
Compared to the leader, the return stroke is a speed demon. It can travel 90 million meters million feet per second — or more. By tracking this return stroke, HAMMA can help scientists better track the total energy unleashed during a strike. Such energy data, from HAMMA and other networks, could help scientists determine how lightning strikes start.
Watch lightning travel from a cloud to the ground in slow-motion. Phillip Bitzer. That device, partly developed at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, will track lightning flashes from above. These data also may show whether climate change has been altering lightning patterns.
Price says lightning strikes are like the pulse of a storm. Price worked on a study of hurricanes published in It found a connection between lightning strikes and the intensity of those storms. Price and his colleagues studied data from 58 hurricanes and compared them to records of lightning strikes. The intensity of lightning peaked about 30 hours before the hurricane winds reached their maximum.
He has been studying connections between lightning and climate change. In a paper, he showed how rising temperatures due to global warming can boost lightning activity.
He published his findings in the journal Surveys in Geophysics. Of the people killed by lightning in the United States between and , most were enjoying outdoor activities. He also worked on the study. People fishing in small boats — mostly on lakes and streams — or standing near the shore accounted for most of those deaths.
In second place: people participating in outdoor sports. Here, soccer led the pack in terms of lightning fatalities. Or men may be more reluctant to go inside if they hear thunder.
Lightning even can send jolts through electrical or water lines into a house, injuring the people inside. Thunder is the key to safety, he points out.
Most lightning strikes occur within a thunderstorm, but a small percentage can reach miles from the storm center. Indeed, Jensenius warns, if you can hear thunder, you are probably within reach of a lightning strike. Michael McQuilken has taken that advice to heart. Skip to content. By Stephen Ornes September 16, at am. Michael McQuilken will never forget the day lightning struck his younger brother. Environment The world wastes roughly a sixth of the food produced each year By Rachel Fritts April 12, Climate Can wildfires cool the climate?
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