The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Weather Service estimates that there are approximately 1,800 thunderstorms in occurrence at any given time. This translates to around 16 million thunderstorms every year. The average thunderstorm will last around 30 minutes and usually measure about 15 miles in diameter.
The two biggest threats presented by thunderstorms are flash floods and lightning, and as they depend on moisture and warmth, it stands to reason that they will occur more in the warmer seasons. The higher humidity and warmer temperatures together create moist air that rises and results in a thunderstorm.
Clouds can be seen as giant generators. They are filled with millions of ice particles and water droplets. Evaporation produces droplets that collide with other moisture, knocks off electrons and creates a charge separation. The electrons collect at the base of the cloud and provide it with a negative charge and the rising moisture without an electron carries a positive charge to the top.
The rising moisture freezes at this elevated point, and the unfrozen droplets become positively charged. The charge separation has an electric field associated with it, and just like the cloud, it is negative in the lower region and positive at the top. As the collisions and freezing continue, the electric field becomes more intense and surface electrons are sent deeper into the earth by the negative charge at the lower portion of the cloud. As electrons are repelled it causes the surface of the earth to acquire a strong positive charge. The electric field then creates a conductive path through the air and results in lightning.
Spring and summer are just around the corner, so now is widely considered the best time to equip vulnerable buildings with lightning protection systems. We can help our clients to keep their properties, inhabitants and electrical equipment safe by installing state of the art lightning and surge protection solutions. We can advise you on all aspects of protection and recommend the best systems for your specific needs.