Lighting can be considered one of the marvels in the natural world. It is mostly known to be created naturally although scientists still are looking for the real cause or causes of lightning.
Cloud-to-cloud lightning, rocket lightning, dry lightning, cloud-to-ground lightning, positive lightning, ball lightning are types of lightning that occur during thunderstorms and during harsh weather conditions. Some lightning bolts have been created from volcanic eruptions and from other human activities. Flying aircraft could possibly trigger lightning. Some researchers have tried to trigger lightning using ultra-violet lasers.
People have popularly known the theory about the positive and negative charges and their forcible separation caused by the existence of ice in the cloud. Polarization mechanism theory and electrostatic induction theory are theories scientifically formed in relation to the creation and development of lightning.
What concerns most people is that lightning can be destructive and deadly.
Lightning mostly occurs in a thunderstorm. It may also occur during volcanic eruptions, dust storms, snowstorms, hurricanes and forest fires. It can cause bush fires, can strike metallic objects, can damage some types of equipment, can destroy properties and can kill persons.
Numerous deaths have been recorded caused by a lightning strike. 20% of the victims of lightning have been known to die from the strike while 70% of the survivors of lightning strike may suffer from serious long-term effects. It is the leading cause of weather–related deaths.
There are several strokes of lightning that could come in a thunderstorm. An average of over one hundred bolts of lightning per second has been estimated to strike the Earth as a whole. A bolt of lighting can contain a billion electrical volts. The temperature of a lightning bolt could reach over 27,000 Celsius. It is hot enough to cause a big fire and could be powerful enough to light a bulb for a few months.
Lightning can cause several damages. It can cause fires, can strike metallic objects, and can damage some types of electronic equipment. It has been reported that costs of damages of lightning are estimated at four to five billion dollars in the United States annually.
Amateur radio operators are especially interested in lightning and develop lightning protection plans to protect their Amateur Radio station, even from a direct strike!