Lightning strikes are wondrous sites to see, but they can also be deadly. With a power of 300 kilovolts, lightning can heat the air up to 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit. This combination of power and heat can cause serious damage to the human body.
One more inquiry we ran across in our research was “Is it possible to be struck by heat lightning?”.
As for being struck by heat lightning, the odds are very low so long as it remains too far away to see the lightning path and hear thunder. However, if the storm is moving in your direction and continues to produce lightning, it is of course possible to be struck.
Another common question is “How dangerous is Heat Lightning?”.
Heat lightning is actually much less dangerous than regular lightning, simply because it is so far away. According to Weather. Gov, lightning can travel up to 12 miles from the thunderstorm generating it.
The actual phenomenon that is sometimes called heat lightning is simply cloud-to-ground lightning that occurs very far away, with thunder that dissipates before it reaches the observer. At night, it is possible to see the flashes of lightning from very far distances, up to 100 miles (160 kilometres), but the sound does not carry that far.
Thunder starts as a shockwave from the explosively expanding lightning channel when a large current causes rapid heating. However, it is possible that you might see lightning and not hear the thunder because it was too far away. Sometimes this is called “heat lightning” because it occurs most often in the summer.
The old wives’ tale that a hot, humid summer night can generate lightning without a thunderstorm, called “heat lighting,” is exactly that–a meteorological myth. Heat lightning is just normal lightning from a thunderstorm too far away for the sounds of thunder to be transmitted.
Moreover, why is it called a heat lightning?
It is caused by distant storms, and it is commonly associated with summer storms, when the temperatures are warm, hence the “heat” in the name. This type of lightning can be seen in many regions of the world, especially in areas where summer storms are common, and in mountainous regions.
How hot is the air near a lightning strike?
“The air near a lightning strike is heated to 50,000 degrees F hotter than the surface of the sun!” Weather and Climate.
Let us dig a little deeper! in fact, lightning can heat the air it passes through to 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit (5 times hotter than the surface of the sun).
How far can you see heat lightning?
The actual phenomenon commonly called heat lightning is simply cloud-to-ground lightning that occurs very far away, with thunder that dissipates before it reaches the observer. At night, it is possible to see the flashes of lightning from very far distances, up to 100 miles (160 kilometres), but the sound does not carry that far.
What happens when lightning strikes the clouds?
The main bolt or stroke will go back up to the cloud. It will make a flash of lightning. It will also heat the air. The air will spread quickly. It will make the sound we hear as thunder. Lightning is dangerous . Here are some safety rules. Image above: Do not stand outside during a storm. Credit: NASA Stay away from open spaces.
This of course begs the question “Does Lightning travel from the Earth to the sky?”
Lightning travels both ways. Lightning is a huge electrical discharge that results from vigorous motions that occur in thunderstorms. Lightning can travel from cloud to cloud, within the same cloud, or between the cloud and ground.
Also, how does Lightning form in the atmosphere?
Lightning is an electric current. To make this electric current, first you need a cloud. When the ground is hot, it heats the air above it. This warm air rises. As the air rises, water vapour cools and forms a cloud. When air continues to rise, the cloud gets bigger and bigger.
This of course begs the question “Does Lightning come from the ground up or down?”
One source stated cloud-to-ground lightning comes from the sky down, but the part you see comes from the ground up. A typical cloud-to-ground flash lowers a path of negative electricity (that we cannot see) towards the ground in a series of spurts. Objects on the ground generally have a positive charge under a typical thunderstorm.