Latest statistics on lightning

Maracaibo’s Lake (Venezuela) is nowadays, according to the latest study by NASA, the place where most lightning falls per square kilometer. According to data reached by Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM), was concluded that in this area there can be formed around 279 thunderstorms a year.

On the other hand, Michael Peterson, scientist of Los Alamos National Laboratory, on last august published in the Journal of Geophysical Research Atmospheres a new study case on lightning. Peterson describes in this recent finding a “spider lightning” in Brasil that covers 673 kilometers of distance, a bit less than the straight-line distance between Paris and Munich.

Thunderstorm formation

In the atmosphere there is a balance between positive and negative charges in normal conditions. However, during a thunderstorm the low level of the clouds is negatively charged and induces a positive charge on the earth and the elements located on it.

Over a certain level of electric field the air is no longer insulating and the clouds discharge on the earth with a downward leader which we call lightning strike.

According to the last study carried out by the National Lightning Safety Council of the United States in March 2019, in the last 13 years around two thirds of the deaths caused by lightning strikes occurred during outdoor activities.

The outdoor activities with a greater number of lightning strikes are the following:

  • Fishing and sailing
  • Football and golf
  • Beach activities
  • Camping

The study also shows that 70% of the deaths caused by lightning occurred in the months of June, July and August during the weekly days off: Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Prevention and protection against lightning

There is no device so far which is capable of preventing the formation of lightning. However, it is possible to create a discharge path to earth in order to minimize the negative impact in people and environment: a lightning protection system (Lightning rods).

We are exposed to great unpredictability without this system. Taking this fact into consideration as well as the great number of annual incidents caused by lightning, Aplicaciones Tecnológicas S.A provides practical advice for your own protection.

For adequate prevention, we remind you there also exists an early lightning warning system. The ATSTORM® system is capable of anticipating information about thunderstorms forming over the area to be protected as well as incoming thunderstorms. This technology provides reliable and accurate information, preventing possible lightning accidents because of activating the relevant protocols in advance.

In Aplicaciones Tecnológicas we have experience, technical capacity and normative knowledge to bring protection and prevention solutions against lightning sustainable to each case and project. Contact us and we will advise you on your project.