Lightning and Urban Planning

A new scientific study comparing urban areas to non-urban areas finds that “demographic and land-use changes feed back to local atmospheric processes that promote thunderstorm formation and persistence… Results demonstrate positive urban amplification of thunderstorm frequency and intensity for major cities… the degree of urban thunderstorm augmentation corresponds to the geometry of the urban footprint.”… Read more »

Lightning May Increase Due to Climate Change

Researchers at Stanford and Purdue Universities report, “Severe thunderstorms are one of the primary causes of catastrophic loss in the United States… We use an ensemble of global climate model experiments to probe the severe thunderstorm response. We find that this ensemble exhibits robust increases in the occurrence of severe thunderstorm environments over the eastern… Read more »

Yes! This is a “Lightning Rod”

Air terminals, the technical term for “lightning rods”, are usually slender metal rods just 10 or more inches tall. Yet other metal items can be used instead of air terminals if they meet the requirements of NFPA 780 – Standard for the Installation of Lightning Protection Systems. For example, this monumental bronze sculpture of a… Read more »

Hurricane Matthew = Lightning Storm Mathew

Amidst the destruction caused by Hurricane Matthew, damage caused by lightning accompanying the Category 4 winds pales in significance. After all, how much can lightning damage buildings that are destroyed by wind and ocean surge? Yet focusing on the destruction caused by wind and water distracts us from the havoc caused by electrical strikes. Consider:… Read more »

Lightning Causes Most Wind Generator Fires

Lightning is the primary cause of fire in wind generators, according to research at Imperial College, London. Once ignited, “Wind turbines catch fire because highly flammable materials such as hydraulic oil and plastics are in close proximity to machinery and electrical wires… Lots of oxygen, in the form of high winds, can quickly fan a… Read more »

CSST Gas Tubing and Lightning-Related Fires

The Lightning Protection Institute (LPI) is joining forces with the National Association of State Fire Marshals (NASFM) to improve safety measures connected with corrugated stainless steel tubing (CSST). The product has been widely used for residential gas lines due to its ease of installation, but its corrugated design and thin walls make CSST susceptible to… Read more »

Scientific Research into Lightning

An article in the Financial Times about ongoing research at the International Center for Lightning Research and Testing (ICLRT) says, “The pace of discovery has led to an outpouring of new theories about lightning. When promising-looking clouds appear, researchers from the University of Florida and the Florida Institute of Technology, which run the site, fire a… Read more »

Lightning Strike Kills 323

A lightning strike in Norway killed 323 reindeer last week. The lightning energy flowed through the earth to reach the entire herd. It is a good reminder that, When Lightning Roars, Go Indoors. For more info, see here.