‘Most dangerous type of lightning in the world’ strikes at Scheveningen: huge bang

An analysis shows that the lightning had an extremely high ampere: 267,000. That’s close to the maximum of 300,000 amps for this type of lightning and ten times as much as a normal lightning strike. In comparison: from a socket comes about 220 volts with a maximum of 16 amps.

What characterizes these discharges is the enormous bang they accompany. “If it hits really close, it can feel like a bomb has hit somewhere,” Buienradar reports. “Many people in The Hague and surroundings will have heard the blow.”

A thundercloud is negatively charged at the bottom and positive at the top. If the voltage difference of a cloud becomes large enough, current will start to flow: lightning. In 90 to 95 percent of the cases, this happens via a so-called negative discharge, according to Buienradar.

5 to 10 percent of lightnings are ‘positive lightnings’, the most dangerous kind. These do not strike under the storm, but next to the storm. The top of the thunderstorm is positively charged and the earth next to the thunderstorm negative. A current can also start flowing between them, and if this happens, it is a so-called positive lightning, explains Buienradar.

Need more energy

In that case, the distance that lightning has to travel through the air is many times greater, so that more energy is needed. The same happened with the impact in the sea just before Scheveningen yesterday afternoon: the real shower was still hanging over land, but lightning struck over the sea.

In a large part of the country, the KNMI issued a code yellow yesterday because of the risk of thunderstorms. It cleared up again in the second half of the evening. Severe thunderstorms are also expected this afternoon. Code yellow has therefore been issued for the south.

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