Lightning, not arson, caused most Victorian bushfires last summer. Credit: Twitter As last summer’s horrific bushfires raged, so too did debate about what caused them. Despite the prolonged drought and ever worsening climate change, some people sought to blame the fires largely on arson. Federal Coalition MPswere among those pushing […]

Lightning was detected in association with a thunderstorm located over the Arctic Ocean on Saturday, Aug. 11. (Source: National Weather Service) We’re accustomed to lightning crackling within thunderstorms over relatively warm places like Florida — which happens to be the U.S. lightning champ. But lightning near the North Pole? Well, […]

CORRADO CIMARELLI Much of the lightning that flickers around and within the ash plumes of erupting volcanoes is triggered by static electricity, which builds up when ash particles scrape against each other in flight. Now, a field study suggests Earth’s natural radioactivity may also help volcanic plumes get electrically charged—even […]

Lightning seen from the ground can awe—lightning seen from space is awesome. j_arrad Yesterday, NOAA released the first video from it’s newest satellite’s Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) instrument, showing a string of storms as it made its way across the United States. The instrument watches for lightning strikes across the Western hemisphere, […]

A Kyoto University-based team has unraveled the mystery of gamma-ray emission cascades caused by lightning strikes. Credit: Kyoto University/Teruaki Enoto A storm system approaches: the sky darkens, and the low rumble of thunder echoes from the horizon. Then without warning… Flash! Crash! — lightning has struck. This scene, while familiar […]


Upside down lightning is a seemingly rare weather event. Sometimes lightning doesn’t go down. photograph by Elka Liot and Grégory Moulard Muscapix Everyone loves a lightning show: big bolts of electricity heading to Earth. But there’s an entire display above those billowing masses that you are probably missing. In 2001, […]