The properties and effects that characterize a lightning strike are truly remarkable. Lightning begins as a high-intensity electric impulse that initially grows in a gaseous environment while forming in the atmosphere and then evolves into a solid, more or less conductive medium when it strikes the ground. However, the fireworks that take place during this celestial trip from heaven to earth can be simultaneously wonderous and devastating. The visual effects of the lightning flash followed by the shockwave of thunder and the sheer thermal dynamics of the heat generated by the event also create residual electrodynamic and electrochemical side-effects that can disrupt power, create electrical surges in office and industrial devices and interrupt network communications.
A lightning strike is perhaps one of the most feared and yet wonderous natural occurrences. When you figure that a person’s odds of being struck by a lightning bolt are a minuscule one in 12,000, yet astraphobia is the third most common phobia in America, behind acrophobia (fear of heights) and zoophobia (fear of animals), it proves most people respect its savage potential. However, climate scientists are wary that with the earths rapid weather changes, the chances of being a lightning-strike victim could increase to one in 8,000 by the year 2100.