Incredible footage captures lightning striking ocean off Daytona Beach, Fla.
Clint Blevins captured stunning footage of lightning strikes off of Florida's Daytona Beach in June 2015. In slow motion, the video clearly shows strikes in the distance rapidly followed by a much closer strike that flares several times before fading, leaving a vertical streak of burning air.
The flaring is actually a series of secondary strikes. "It is very possible that a main strike can be followed by 30 or 40 secondary strikes," says an April 2000 article in HowStuffWorks. "Depending on the time delay between strikes, we may see what looks like one long-duration main strike, or a main strike followed by other flashes along the path of the main strike."
With up to one billion volts of electricity and temperatures about five times hotter than the surface of the sun, lightning is obviously very dangerous. According to the National Severe Storms Laboratory, the odds of being struck by lightning in the United States are about 1 in 3,000.
The Daytona Beach News-Journal Online reports that Florida is the "lightning capital" of the U.S., reporting the most lightning deaths in 2014 and 2015. As of June 25, 2016, there had been three lightning deaths in Florida for the year, including one in Daytona Beach.
§ World Top News Center, National Severe Storms Laboratory, Daytona Beach News-Journal Online, and HowStuffWorks