WICHITA FALLS, Texas– If there is any doubt that lightning is one of the most powerful forces of nature, look no further than the photos in this story.
Lightning struck the green on the 15th hole at the Weeks Park Golf Club as thunderstorms moved through Wichita Falls early Tuesday morning. No injuries were reported.
Anna Garcia posted several photos of the strange design left behind by the strike on Twitter.
The photos show the result of what happens when lightning strikes the Earth and provides a critical reminder of why it is so dangerous to be outdoors when thunder roars.
When lightning strikes the ground, the current of the strike branches out along the ground. The current fans out from the point of the strike in a tendril pattern, according to NOAA. This is why a lightning bolt can be fatal up to 100 feet away from the center of the strike. The ground current is responsible killing many farm animals each year, according to the National Weather Service.
A study of over 260 lightning deaths in the United States between 2006 and 2013 revealed fishing and other outdoor sports activities, like golf, made up 90 percent of all deaths.
June, July and August are the peak months for lightning activity in the U.S. and are also the peak months for outdoor activities. More than 70 percent of lightning deaths occurred during this three month period, according to the study.
Researchers noted in the study that most people who were fatally struck were either seeking shelter or were steps away from a safe area when they were struck.
Five people have been killed by lightning so far in 2016, according to the National Weather Service.