cn tower lightning

The CN Tower attracted so much lightning last night

The unpredictable nature of spring weather is being thrust into our faces in Toronto once again as thunderstorms and intense rains swirl through Southern Ontario.

One such powerful storm prompted a special weather statement from Environment Canada on Sunday evening, dropping nearly 30 mm of precipitation overnight, flooding some local streets and prompting photographers to get out their gear.

Yes, with the rain came a whole bunch of lightning (and subsequent thunder, in case you didn't hear it), some of which was absorbed in spectacular fashion by Toronto's very own 553.33-metre-tall bolt magnet, The CN Tower.

The CN tower is Toronto's tallest structure by far, making it a prime target for lightning strikes during periods of extreme weather. Fortunately, it is well equipped to do so.

"A series of copper strips run the length of the Tower. Copper is very conductive and allows electrons to move easily through it. These strips feed into massive grounding rods buried below ground level," reads the CN Tower's website.

"When lightning does strike the Tower, the electrical discharge runs through the wires and diffuses into the ground," the site continues. 

It also makes for some really cool pictures.

On average, the CN Tower is struck by lightning around 75 times per year.

It is unclear as to how many times the tower was hit last night, but footage posted to Instagram, Twitter and Reddit suggest that it was quite a few.

"Have seen the tower get struck probably 10 times so far tonight," wrote one Redditor shortly after 9 p.m. on Sunday.

The CN Tower is taking lots of lightning this evening from r/toronto

If you missed the chance to see lightning strike the CN Tower in person, chances are you'll get another one soon. Last night's storm was one of several expected this week in Toronto as warm air travels north from the Southern United States along with several potent systems.

Lead photo by

Serene Way


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