Shots fired when lightning strikes

When lightning strikes

A flash of lightning, then a loud thunder follows. This is how a thunderstorm works.

Lightning occurs when it is humid and warm. Then electrical charges build up in clouds. There is then a high electrical voltage within the cloud. This tension wants to even out. That happens when there is lightning. Such lightning can strike the earth, for example in the ground or in buildings.

Experts measure how often and where lightning strikes in Germany. To do this, they use electrical devices. The devices notice the lightning strikes.

The experts found out: Last year, lightning strikes most frequently in the city of Schweinfurt in Bavaria. The fewest lightning strikes occurred in Kiel in Schleswig-Holstein.

A total of around 550,000 lightning strikes were measured in Germany. That was a lot less than the year before. "In 2015 there were noticeably few thunderstorms in Germany," said an expert.

Such measurements are of interest to operators of power lines, for example. If a line fails, the operator can see whether a lightning strike was responsible.