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Lightning strikes the ground in the U.S. an estimated 25 million times every year, carrying between 100 million and 1 billion volts, and billions of watts of energy. A single lightning strike can heat the air around it to between 18,000 and 60,000 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the National Severe Storms Laboratory. This awesome force of nature can be very beautiful, but it’s also deadly and destructive.

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