There is a massive amount of power released with a lightning strike, ranging from 100 million to 300 million volts and 30,000 amps. They happen between clouds seventy-five percent of the time, but twenty-five percent of the time they happen on the ground.
The formation of lightning takes place inside clouds when updrafts carry positively charged water particles and when hail and ice particles descend in downdrafts that are negatively charged. This results in a vertical separation of electric charge within the cloud, with positive charge being closer to the top of the cloud and negative charge being closer to the bottom.
A positive charge is created at the surface of the Earth underneath the cloud, and it moves with the cloud in a horizontal direction. Lightning is produced when the cloud’s negative charge comes into contact with the positive charge coming from below, and positively charged particles rise up from tall objects as the vertical charge differences between the cloud and the ground increase.
- When seeing a storm cloud from above, it is often possible to see the positive charge “leaping up” to unite with the negative charge.
- When a viewer sees sparks flying skyward from an antenna or when a person’s hair begins to stand on end as a result of this, it might be unsettling for them.
- This phenomena has happened to me while I was out at sea during a very violent lightning storm.
In the event that this does place, you must instantly seek shelter since a strike is impending, and you run the risk of becoming the lightning rod. There are several different locations where lightning can originate. Some of it is generated at the peak of a thunderstorm, where there is a significant buildup of positive charge.
This type of lightning, known as “positive lightning,” is especially hazardous because it can strike the ground far away from the storm, either in front of or behind the storm’s active core, where people do not anticipate the possibility of being struck by lightning. Even when there is clear sky above, positive lightning can hit the ground up to 10 miles away from an active storm.
The majority of lightning strikes are caused by “negative lightning,” and they normally take place within five miles of a storm. Learn to utilize the sound of thunder as an early warning sign. Lightning quickly heats the air to temperatures of up to 54,000 degrees Fahrenheit, causing an acoustic shock wave that results in thunder.
- When traveling through air, sound moves at a speed of one mile every five seconds, which is comparable to six miles every thirty seconds.
- If there is a lightning flash followed by thunder in less than a quarter of a minute, you should seek shelter.
- When lightning strikes the ocean, the vast majority of the electrical current travels over the surface in a radial direction.
Due to the fact that saltwater is a good conductor, the residual current travels downward in a hemispherical pattern and completely disappears less than three meters below the surface. It is thought that the fatal current spreads in a horizontal direction no more than twenty feet from the point of contact of the hit.
- A person who is swimming in fresh water faces a higher danger of being struck and killed by lightning than someone who is swimming in salt water.
- As a result of the fact that fresh water is a poor conductor of electricity, the human body acts as a sponge for the electrical current that is produced when lightning strikes nearby.
In contrast, seawater has the ability to swiftly spread electrical current in all directions, so that a body would get less current from a close strike if it were submerged in saltwater. Lightning strikes produce a massive current, but because they are so fleeting, the harm they do to bodies that are submerged in water is often less severe than people think it to be.
- Some people, when they anticipate that lightning may hit their vessel, consider whether or not they should try to escape by jumping overboard.
- This is the classic “Yes, but” conundrum that people face.
- If it is extremely likely that lightning would strike a vessel, then someone on board could swim at least 50 feet away from the vessel and dive down to a depth of 10 feet until the risk has passed.
Unless the individual is a trained scuba diver who is already outfitted with a full air tank, this is obviously cumbersome and difficult to do. (Because the metal air tank will collect the electrical current, even a diver is at risk if the strike occurs near by.) On board a ship, the best approach to protect oneself from the effects of a lightning strike is to go below deck and keep away from anything metal.
This includes through-hulls, engines, tanks, cables, and electrical equipment. Lightning has killed swimmers and divers who were all rather close to the surface and in close proximity to the point where they were struck. Due to the close closeness of the impact, there would have also been fatalities among the fish.
The electrical charge is only potentially harmful near the surface and in close proximity to the point of contact, which is why enormous numbers of fish are not killed when it is used at sea. Because the vast majority of fish and mammals spend the vast majority of their time deep below the surface, this is purely an issue of chance.
If someone has been struck by lightning, it is perfectly safe to do CPR on them right away since they will not carry an electrical charge for an extended period of time. Even though cardiac arrest, burns, and nerve damage are frequent, and even though the psychological impacts can be devastating, the majority of people who are struck by lightning can live if they receive quick medical assistance.
Marinas: a Complete Guide is one of Scott E. McDowell’s books, which can be found on his website, www.scottemcDowell.com. McDowell also holds a PhD degree in ocean physics and is a certified captain. Send them to [email protected] if you have anything to say.
How far does Lightning travel in water?
R. nial bradshaw/CC-BY-2.0 In general, lightning may travel across water for a distance of twenty feet before it dissipates. The distance that the charge travels is influenced by several factors, including the strength of the lightning strike, the topography of the water, the salinity, and the temperature.
- Although lightning is unable to travel deep into water, its charge will spread out in all directions, with the surface being most affected.
- Lightning does not travel any further in water than it does on land despite the fact that water is a good conductor of electricity.
- On the land, electrical current disperses in streams, which enables it to go further than it would if it dissipated in the water in the same manner over the whole body of water.
Because the electrical charge is diffused in such a way that it is uniformly dissipated, the overall area that is impacted is bigger than it would be on land, but the distance at which the charge is still harmful is substantially shorter. Electrical currents follow the route of least resistance, which means that they go through salt water rather than through the bodies of marine animals, swimmers, or scuba divers.
- This is because salt water offers the least amount of resistance to the current.
- Lightning, on the other hand, is always looking for the shortest route to the earth, and it will strike anything that is protruding above the water’s surface.
- Lightning is said to be capable of producing up to 300 million volts and 10,000 to 20,000 amps, according to websites devoted to science.
A lightning strike at the surface can cause some local warming of the water and create loud sound waves with a maximum volume of 260 dB. MORE Content Taken From Reference.com
What happens if lightning hits the ocean?
Lightning strikes the ocean less frequently than it strikes land, but when it does, it conducts electricity more effectively because the water functions as a conductor. It has the potential to impact surrounding vessels and electrocute fish that are swimming close to the water’s surface. Get out of the water and away from the beach if you hear thunder or see lightning while you’re there.
How far does light travel in the ocean?
When conditions are just ideal, sunlight that penetrates the sea can go around 1,000 meters into the ocean; nevertheless, there is almost never any substantial light beyond 200 meters. On the basis of depth and light intensity, the ocean may be broken up into three distinct zones.
- The euphotic zone, sometimes known as the “sunlight” zone, is the uppermost two hundred meters of the ocean.
- This region is home to a significant number of marine animals and sea turtles that are protected by law, as well as the great bulk of commercial fisheries.
- After reaching this depth, there is just a minuscule quantity of light that is able to enter.
In common parlance, the area between 200 and 1,000 meters is referred to as the “twilight zone,” although its formal name is the dysphotic zone. As one travels farther into this zone, one will notice that the light intensity quickly decreases. After a depth of 200 meters, the quantity of light that is able to penetrate is so little that photosynthesis can no longer take place.
What happens to electricity when it hits the ocean?
When electrical current is sent through it, a body that is submerged in fresh water will have a voltage that varies from one end to the other. Because salt water has a lower resistance than fresh water, the voltage differential between one end of the wire and the other is smaller while moving from one end to the other.