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25,443 Lightning Strikes in Sweden – Costs and Safety Tips

Record-breaking number of lightning strikes in Sweden

On August 6, 2023, SMHI registered 25,443 lightning strikes across Sweden – the highest number they’ve seen during the summer so far. This is the result of a meeting between cool air from the west and warm moist air from the other side of the Baltic Sea. This created a low-pressure boundary zone and a front that helped to lift the air, resulting in rain and thunderstorms.

What causes lightning strikes?

Lightning strikes are caused by a difference in electrical charge between the ground and the atmosphere. When this difference becomes too great, a spark is created, which travels down to the ground as a lightning bolt.

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How much damage do lightning strikes cause?

The most common form of damage as a result of lightning strikes is to electronics. Televisions, modems, computers, and robotic lawnmowers connected to the mains are all vulnerable. To protect these devices from damage, surge protectors can be installed or the plug simply pulled out.

How to protect yourself from lightning strikes

When thunder starts, it’s best to take shelter indoors or get into a car with a metal roof. It’s important to remember that open-top cars and those with fabric roofs won’t provide any protection.

If you find yourself outdoors during a thunderstorm, make sure you avoid tall trees or masts and stay away from open areas like golf courses or soccer fields. Playing near water or flying kites should also be avoided as they can act as lightning conductors. Lastly, don’t forget your umbrella!

What to do if you’re caught in a thunderstorm

If you’re indoors, stay away from windows and doors. If you’re outdoors, find shelter in a low-lying area, such as a ditch or under a tree. If you can’t find shelter, crouch down and put your hands on your head.

In summary

It’s important to take extra care when thunderstorms are forecast in Sweden. Knowing what precautions to take and how to protect yourself and your electronics can help to minimize any damage that might be caused by lightning strikes.

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