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 […]

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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, […]

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Credit: NASA People who live and work along coasts and coastlines everywhere may be more likely to experience a super-charged lightning strike, according to new research from Florida Institute of Technology that shows lightning can be much more powerful over the ocean than land. Florida Tech’s Amitabh Nag, assistant professor […]

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Credit: Rick Wilson, CC BY-NC For most of human history, people have been terrified by lightning. Frightening bolts from above, lightning was a tool of the gods to smite mortals for their hubris (or their unfortunate penchant for seeking shelter from storms under trees). The discovery and implementation of Benjamin […]