Lightning is a naturally occurring electrostatic discharge during which two electrically charged regions in the atmosphere (inside a single thundercloud or cloud-to-cloud) or ground temporarily equalize themselves, causing the instantaneous release of as much as one gigajoule of energy.
Lightning causes thunder, a sound from the shock wave which develops as gases in the vicinity of the discharge experience a sudden increase in pressure.
Scott et al, 2014, suggest that the solar wind controls lightning on Earth, “increase in Galactic Cosmic Ray flux may directly trigger lightning through ‘runaway breakdown’ of electrons, leading to breakdown.”
Grand Solar Minimum = increase in Galactic Cosmic Rays = trigger for Lightning through ‘runaway breakdown’ of electrons
At least 107 people died from lightning strikes in northern and eastern India Thursday (83 in the state of Bihar and 24 others in Uttar Pradesh). Dozens more were injured.
Lightning strikes during the June-September annual monsoon are fairly common in India. But Bihar’s Disaster Management Minister Lakshmeshwar Rai told AFP this was one of the highest daily tolls from lightning the state had recorded in recent years.
The death toll could rise further as officials are waiting for casualty reports from the interior parts of the state.
In neighbouring Uttar Pradesh, most of the deaths were reported near the holy city of Prayagraj close to the Nepal border.
But it is not the end… Thunderstorms are forecast to hit Bihar on Friday and Saturday. – Al Jazeera
New lightning records: 440 miles in Brazil and 16.73 seconds in Argentina
Meanwhile, a new world record lightning strike of 440 miles has been confirmed by the World Meteorological Organization.
The “megaflash” traveled that distance over parts of southern Brazil on Oct. 31, 2018, the WMO said. This is equivalent to the distance between Washington, DC, and Boston.
In addition to the longest flash in terms of distance, a world record for longest lightning strike in terms of time was also announced: A single flash lasted 16.73 seconds over northern Argentina on March 4, 2019.
“These are extraordinary records from single lightning flash events,” said Arizona State University professor Randall Cerveny, chief rapporteur of Weather and Climate Extremes for the WMO, in a statement.
“It is likely that even greater extremes still exist, and that we will be able to observe them as lightning detection technology improves.” – WMO
It’s clear for me! Grand Solar Minimum increases the flux in Galactic Cosmic Rays which increases lightning through ‘runaway breakdown’ of electrons.