Thunderstorms bring the flash of white-hot splintered bolts that illuminate the blackened skies, creating a spectacular light show, and the looming threat of electrocution. While the odds of being struck down by a fiery bolt in any given year are approximately 1 in 1 million, the odds of getting struck in a lifetime is 1 in 10,000.
The brilliant movement of the electrical charge can heat the air it travels through to 50,000 degrees F, which is five times hotter than the surface of the Sun. Lightning, which flashes an estimated 25 million times in the United States each year, can often strike 3 miles outside the center of a thunderstorm. However, a raging thunderbolt can hit from up to 10 to 15 miles away, without warning. Take a look at several myths and facts surrounding lightning.