The earth is surrounded by an electric field and is negatively charged. The potential difference between the surface of our planet and the upper layers of the atmosphere, which carry a positive charge, is several thousand volts. Spark discharges of lightning reach a voltage measured in millions of volts, and in one thunderstorm, the same amount of energy is consumed as it is released in the explosion of 10-15 hydrogen bombs.
Every year there are up to 44 thousand thunderstorms on the globe, that is, about 2 thousand thunderstorms per hour, and every second inhabitants in different regions of the Earth see about 100 lightning. Thunderstorms occur most often in the afternoon - between 13 and 24 hours; the minimum number of them is observed between 15 and 18 hours. Thunderstorms usually last about an hour. However, in the tropics and in the Caucasus mountains, they sometimes last up to 12-13 hours. The largest number of thunderstorm days - 220 a year - was recorded on the island of Java (Indonesia), and even 322 days in the city of Bei-tenzorg!
There is almost no thunderstorm weather at all in the city of Santa Maria (California, USA), where thunderstorms occur no more than once every two years. And in Egypt, a thunderstorm occurs only once every two hundred years.
Lightning is usually seen in the summer. However, in countries with humid climates and warm winters, lightning can also be seen during the winter months. Lightning was occasionally observed in winter in our country. Under Ivan the Terrible in winter, his palace in the Aleksandrovskaya Sloboda was burned down by lightning.