WATCH: Lightning Strike Narrowly Misses Delta Plane on the Tarmac

by Emily Morgan

As people were commuting from New Orlean’s International Airport, their travel plans were delayed by thunderstorms on Saturday morning. Although their commute was interrupted, bystanders could get stunning images of lightning bolts shooting up the sky.

One witness of the insane lightning captured the exact moment lightning struck the tarmac, nearly hitting a nearby Delta plane.

Although an estimated 40 million lightning strikes hit the country every year, snagging one of these bolts in all its glory is an accomplishment that can be difficult to do for the most seasoned photographers.

It’s easy to see why considering the average duration of a lightning strike is less than a second. As a result, it’s gone in the blink of an eye.

Today, meteorologists have lightning detection products that detect signals when lightning strikes occur. However, seeing the act with your naked eye adds a great perspective that not even the best equipment can compete with.

Luckily, the Delta jet came out unscathed after the lightning came down. However, sometimes other airports and planes aren’t as fortunate.

Due to their long flight times and paths through the clouds, the National Weather Service estimates that nearly every commercial plane sees an average of one to two strikes yearly.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, a lightning strike can cause significant damage to crucial airplane systems. However, since the updated systems have newer, high-intensity protection systems, damage from lightning strikes has been somewhat mitigated.

Per reports from the National Weather Service in New Orleans, Saturday’s storms occurred around 5:45 a.m. Thankfully, there was no reported damage or injuries from the strike.

New Jersey woman recalls terrifying moment lightning bolt hit her body

In addition, witnessing lightning strikes in and around Louisiana parishes is not rare. The state averages 70 thunderstorms per year, challenging Florida as the thunderstorm capital of the nation.

As a nation, the US averages 20 lightning-related deaths annually, which experts say is actually preventable. Fatalities from lightning strikes typically happen after leisure activities that occur outside.

Earlier this month, a New Jersey woman had a close call with lightning while doing housework around her house. When a thunderstorm rolled through, she decided to put some laundry in her dryer. However, this proved to be a horrible mistake. When she tossed the laundry in, a bolt struck the ground pipe of her home.

At that moment, she knew she had messed up when the electricity shot through her body, moving up her arm, into her face, down her body, and out her foot. In addition, she remembers every vivid detail of that near-fatal event.

“I was taking clothes out of the dryer and was reaching in, grabbing my daughter’s lime-green T-shirt,” Venuto-Deal told news outlets.

She recalled where the lightning first hit her body, entering her through “my pinkie finger and my ring finger on my left hand.”