Lightning Storm Facts for Kids


* Lightning is a powerful burst of electricity that happens very quickly during a thunderstorm.
* Lightning is caused by an electrical charge in the atmosphere that is unbalanced.
* The movement of rain and ice inside a thundercloud creates an electrical charge, with the negative charge (electrons) forming at the bottom of the cloud and the positive charge (protons) forming at the top.
* Opposites attract so the negative charge at the bottom of the cloud seeks out a positive charge to connect with.
* Lightning can occur inside clouds, between clouds and from clouds to the ground.
* When lightning strikes the ground it seeks out the shortest route to something with a positive charge, this might be a tree, a tall building or if they’re very unlucky, a person.
* Thousands of people are struck by lightning every year.
* Direct lightning strikes are usually fatal.
* Lightning rods (also called conductors) are metal rods or similar objects that divert lightning safely to the ground, they can often be seen at the top of tall buildings.
* Most lightning occurs over land rather than oceans, with around 70% of it occurring in the Tropics.
* There are bolts of lightning striking somewhere on Earth every second.
* Lightning strikes usually last around 1 or 2 microseconds.
* Lightning contains millions of volts of electricity.
* The average temperature of lightning is around 20000 °C (36000 °F).
* Lightning is usually produced by cumulonimbus clouds that are very tall and dense.
* Lightning can also occur during volcanic eruptions, dust storms, snow storms, forest fires and tornadoes.
* The study of lightning is known as fulminology.
* Astraphobia is the fear of thunder and lightning.