Lightning by the Numbers

Lightning by the Numbers

  • A typical lightning bolt carries 1,000 to 300,000 amps.
  • A typical lightning bolt is rated at up to 125 million volts.
  • The “average” lightning bolt is very hot. 15,000° C (the surface of the sun is 6,000° C).
Lightning by the Numbers
  • Lightning bolts can travel 10 miles or more.
  • Lightning strikes travel at 1,000 feet/second. Sound and thunder travel at 750 feet/second.
  • Lightning strikes the earth more than 8 million times per day.
  • Lightning strikes the continental US 90,000,000 times per year.
  • Lightning causes an estimated $5 billion in property damage per year in the US.
Lightning by the Numbers Lightning by the Numbers
  • A 50’ tall building in an average lighting activity has a .25 probability of being struck in any given year.
  • Lightning in an average year kills 58 people in the US.
  • Lightning causes over 75,000 forest fires per year in the US.
  • Lightning causes 30.2% of church fires per year in the US.
  • Lightning is the leading cause of lumber yard fires.
Lightning by the Numbers
  • Lightning kills or injures three times more men than women (no surprise – right, gals?)
  • You have a one in 6,000 chance of being struck by lightning in any given year. (The odds of winning the powerball lottery are 1:146,107,962. The odds of being attacked by a shark are 1 in 9 million; 1 in 400 million for a fatal attack.)
Lightning by the Numbers