Does lightning strike on an angle?

So, with the advent of weather on my friend’s SMP server, two structures have already been burned to the ground by lightning strikes. Miraculously, the current tallest flammable structure on the server is unharmed. The observation deck of my lighthouse is made of red wool (I’ve converted the white wool base to iron). I’ve also made sure to put a firebreak (triple row of glass floor) between the wooden access-way and the wooden stairs inside the structure, so while a lightning strike wouldn’t be completely disastrous, the top section is the most time consuming to build. So, for some reason, I got the idea that lightning only strikes vertically, which led me to build a glass shield at the ceiling of the map, in the shape of the widest parts of the lighthouse.

Lighthouse, and 'lightning shield'

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  • You can see the shield towards the top of the image. It’s placed directly above the structure, and provided lightning only travels vertically downward, protects the entire structure.

    Will this work? Or does lightning strike on an angle?

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  • 4 Solutions collect form web for “Does lightning strike on an angle?”

    It looks like, or is rendered to strike on an angle, but actually it only happens at the vertically highest (up to 127) solid block at its horizontal location. In other words, the lightning travels vertically downward through non-solid transparent blocks with a few exceptions you won’t care. This is a theory from code reading, and it seems bckbck has verified this.

    Yes, but not all the time.

    The thunderbolts do strike diagonally, but most of the time it strikes like the picture below.lightning

    There are also times when it will strike diagonally.
    diagonal lightning

    I recommend that you extend the glass shield to about 10×10 so that the lightning will not hit it at all (lightning should not be struck at an angle of more that 45 degrees)

    Also, wooden stairs do not burn.


    I tried manipulating the lightning again. I used zombe’s modpack to manipulate the lightning by using the weather control (turned on thunderstorm with mayhem modifier which increases the frequency of lightning). However if you use single player command’s “weather lightning” command single player commands "weather lightning" command in a cave
    , it will go through anything.

    So I decided to do an actual test with wood and a glass canopy.
    wood and glass canopy

    Then I turned on lightning with mayhem modifier. It didn’t strike through the canopy.
    lightning unable to pass thru glass
    another one

    As you can see it DID NOT pass through. In the end, my wood was in PERFECT condition. none of it was burned.wood not burned

    This post seems to indicate that it does – linked is a YouTube video where you can see the lightning hitting the ground underneath trees.

    According to this question, lightning comes straight down. Given that, it seems like your shield should work, but do let us know if/what happens as you continue to play!

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