Brilliant streaks of lightning lit up the sky over New York City Saturday night as a bolt struck One World Trade Center, the tallest building in the U.S.
New York was hit by thunderstorms Saturday night amid a destructive weekend of storms that ripped through much of the South and Midwest. During the New York thunderstorm, video footage captured the spectacular moment that a bolt of lightning struck One World Trade Center.
— Max Guliani (@maximusupinNYc) April 2, 2023
Lightning strikes One World Trade Center frequently. The 1,776-foot tall building was struck by lightning 189 times between 2015 and 2020, according to Accuweather, making it the second-most-struck building in the U.S. behind Willis Tower in Chicago, which was struck 250 times during the same time period.
Alan Reiss, director of WTC construction, explained in 2016 that One World Trade Center protects the surrounding area from lightning strikes.
“Because One WTC is 1776 feet high, the tower essentially protects anything within a circle centered around it with a radius of 1,776 feet,” said Reiss.
The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey wrote that “One World Trade Center is safe during lightning strikes because of its state-of-the-art protection system, which is based on the same concepts pioneered by Benjamin Franklin. Lightning rods now are mounted on the roof tops of buildings, houses and 4 World Trade Center.”
Dozens of deadly tornadoes and powerful storms ravaged the Midwest and South late Friday and into the wee hours of Saturday, including one that collapsed the roof of an Illinois concert hall where hundreds were gathered for a performance.
At least five people were killed and dozens injured in the violent weather, which tore through several states just a week after 26 people were killed in the South by tornadoes and storms. Nearly two dozen tornadoes were reported late Friday and early Saturday in Illinois, Iowa, Tennessee, Wisconsin, and Mississippi.
Greg Wilson contributed to this report.