On July 6, 2019, Saturday, a bolt of lightning struck a sailboat at the Columbia Yacht Club in Boston, Massachusetts, United States. The event has been recorded by a passerby.

Sparks fly as lighting hits sailboat in Boston harbor. Credit: Harry Minucci via Storyful.

There were powerful storms in Massachusetts on Saturday. One person in South Boston caught the shocking moment when lightning struck a nearby sailboat.

Luckily, the owner of the boat wasn’t there, and the boat was empty, so nobody was hurt.

The shocking video also caught the attention of the National Weather Service – Boston (NWS Boston), which tweeted it was a “great example of why we say ‘When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors!'”

When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors!

Why lightning occurs

Often followed by thunder, lightning is a naturally occurring electrostatic discharge during which two electrically charged regions in the atmosphere or ground temporarily equalize themselves, causing the instantaneous release of as much as one billion joules of energy.

This discharge may produce a wide range of electromagnetic radiations, from very hot plasma created by the rapid movement of electrons to brilliant flashes of visible light in the form of black-body radiation.

The fierce sound of a lightning strike caused by the shock wave develops as gases in the vicinity of the discharge experience a sudden increase in pressure.

Most lightning strikes come with a peak source power of around 1 gigawatt. But, “superbolts” can come in at 100 gigawatts.


M. Özgür Nevres
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