WABASH VALLEY (WTHI) - Lightning strikes the U.S. about 25 million times a year and it causes multiple injuries and deaths. According to the NWS in 2020, 17 people were tragically killed because of lightning.
The surface of lightning can reach temperatures near 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s hotter than the surface of the sun. Which gets up to 10,000 degrees.
When lightning strikes, the air surrounding the actual lightning bolt heats up so fast it squeezes that air from 10 to 100 times the normal air pressure. This compressed-air explodes outward and creates thunder.
Now you can actually calculate the distance of lightning from where you stand. Right as you see a lightning strike, start counting. If it takes 5 seconds, that lightning was 1 mile away from you. And at 15 seconds, it was 3 miles away.
Just remember it’s safest if you do this inside and obviously well before a storm hits.
For more information on lightning safety, you can go to www.weather.gov/safety/lightning