Cloud-to-ground lightning flashes are much less common than intra-cloud lightning flashes, but they're the ones that cause injuries and deaths. However, because many countries aren't able to keep records of lightning fatalities, it's difficult to know how many people die from lightning strikes every year. The majority of lightning occurs in the Earth's tropical latitude band, which lies between 35° north and south latitude.
Lightning Is Always Striking Somewhere
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Key Facts In This Video
It's a misconception that each second between a lightning strike and a thunderclap represents one mile of distance between you and the storm. 00:31
Thunderclaps are caused by the pressure disturbances in the air that occur with a lightning bolt. 01:07
Each second between a lightning strike and a thunderclap corresponds to about a .214-mile (.344-km) distance away from the storm. 02:50