Lightning Strikes St. Louis’ Gateway Arch with 300 Million Volts
I could say that I've found a shocking moment to share with you, but that would overload my pun meter. It truly is an awesome sight as there's a short, but sweet video of lightning striking the Gateway Arch in St. Louis with a massive charge of 300 million volts.
One of my favorite photographers on YouTube, Dan Robinson just shared this short video showing the iconic symbol of the gateway to the west getting lit up like a Christmas tree by a thunderstorm.
I could argue that the 300 million volts is a conservative guess. The National Weather Service says "a typical lightning flash is about 300 million Volts and about 30,000 Amps". Several of the strikes that Dan captured hitting the Gateway Arch don't look "typical" to me. But, for the sake of not exaggerating, I'll stick with the 300 million volt estimation.
How often does the Gateway Arch get struck by lightning?
Not nearly as much as you think is the short answer. Dan's website, Storm Highway, estimates the Gateway Arch is only hit by lightning once or twice per year and sometimes not at all. Dan does a deep dive on the science of why which is beyond my understanding. Let's just say it's not the big metal lightning rod you'd think it'd be over the St. Louis skyline.
If you don't already, make sure you follow Dan Robinson on YouTube. I don't know anyone better than him at capturing wild weather moments in our part of America.