Average 100 lightning strikes occur worldwide every second.
Cloud-to-ground lightning bolts are a common phenomenon, yet their power is extraordinary. Each bolt can contain up to one billion volts of electricity.
The average number of strikes varies with location, season, and many other variables. A number of studies have been done using lightning detection networks located in some countries and using a couple of satellites that have optical detectors designed to recognize lightning flashes. The most recent data suggests that the long used statistic of around 100 flashes per second globally is close to being correct, of which 80% are in-cloud flashes and 20% are cloud-to-ground flashes.
Expanding the lightning numbers… 100 per second equals 6000 strikes per minute, 6000 per minute equals 360,000 per hour, 360,000 per hour equals 8,640,000 per day.
Lightning is extremely hot, a flash can heat the air around it to temperatures five times hotter than the sun’s surface. This heat causes surrounding air to rapidly expand and vibrate, which creates the pealing thunder we hear a short time after seeing a lightning flash.
Lightning is not only spectacular, it’s dangerous. About 2,000 people are killed worldwide by lightning each year. Hundreds more survive strikes but suffer from a variety of lasting symptoms, including memory loss, dizziness, weakness, numbness, and other life-altering ailments.