Sun’s magnetic field boosts lightning strikes across the UK

The number of lightning strikes across the UK has been significantly affected by solar activity, according to new research.

Scientists say the Sun’s magnetic field is bending the Earth’s own field, increasing our exposure to cosmic rays.

These rays are believed to increase the number of thunderclouds and trigger lightning bolts in some locations.

Over five years, the UK experienced 50% more strikes when the Earth’s magnetic field was affected by the Sun.

Fields of influence

The manner is which lightning bolts are triggered has long puzzled scientists as the air is known to be a good insulator of electricity.