News Excerpt
Lightning strikes killed 147 people in the north Indian state of Bihar, warning of more extreme weather conditions to come, driven by climate change.

About Lightning
•    Lightning strikes during the monsoon that runs from June to September and fairly common in India.
•    The lightning and thunder were caused by large-scale instability in the atmosphere, fuelled by temperature rises and excessive moisture.
•    Lightning is an electrical discharge caused by imbalances between storm clouds and the ground, or within the clouds themselves. Most lightning occurs within the clouds.
•    "Sheet lightning" describes a distant bolt that lights up an entire cloud base. Other visible bolts may appear as bead, ribbon, or rocket lightning.
•    During a storm, colliding particles of rain, ice, or snow inside storm clouds increase the imbalance between storm clouds and the ground, and often negatively charge the lower reaches of storm clouds. Objects on the ground, like steeples, trees, and the Earth itself, become positively charged—creating an imbalance that nature seeks to remedy by passing current between the two charges.
•    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.
•    Cloud-to-ground lightning bolts are a common phenomenon—about 100 strike Earth’s surface every single second—yet their power is extraordinary. Each bolt can contain up to one billion volts of electricity.
•    Some types of lightning, including the most common types, never leave the clouds but travel between differently charged areas within or between clouds.
•    Other rare forms can be sparked by extreme forest fires, volcanic eruptions, and snowstorms. Ball lightning, a small, charged sphere that floats, glows, and bounces along oblivious to the laws of gravity or physics, still puzzles scientists.

Impact
    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.
    Strikes can cause cardiac arrest and severe burns, but 9 of every 10 people survive. The average American has about a 1 in 5,000 chance of being struck by lightning during a lifetime.
    Lightning's extreme heat will vaporize the water inside a tree, creating steam that may blow the tree apart.
    Many houses are grounded by rods and other protection that conduct a lightning bolt's electricity harmlessly to the ground. Homes may also be inadvertently grounded by plumbing, gutters, or other materials.
    Grounded buildings offer protection, but occupants who touch running water or use a landline phone may be shocked by conducted electricity.
    More than 2,300 people were killed by lightning in India. In 2018 according to the National Crime Records Bureau.
    According to a new study, that number could be set to dramatically increase if the current rate of global warming continues.