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Name: April H.
Status: other
Age: N/A
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 2000-2001

Does lightning strike the top of Mount Everest?

Does ligtning strike aircraft flying at 29,000 feet (as high as Everest)?


Lightning could strike objects at elevations of 29,000 feet; if a thunderstorm occurred over Mount Everest, it could be struck by lightning. Tall mountains receive lightning strikes frequently.

Airplanes have been struck by lightning, as did one of the Apollo launch vehicles (at only a few thousand feet).

Aircraft are particularly susceptible to inter-cloud (within a cloud) or intra-cloud (between clouds) lightning strokes, which, fortunately, are only about one-tenth as energetic as a cloud-to-ground stroke.

David R. Cook
meteorologist and lightning researcher
Atmospheric Section
Environmental Research Division
Argonne National Laboratory

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