There are few places on Earth where people need not be concerned about flooding. Any place where rain falls is vulnerable, although rain is not the only impetus for a flood.
Hurricanes are giant, spiraling tropical storms that can pack wind speeds of over 160 miles (257 kilometers) an hour and unleash more than 2.4 trillion gallons (9 trillion liters) of rain a day.
Cloud-to-ground lightning bolts are a common phenomenon-about 100 strike Earth's surface every single second-yet their power is extraordinary. Each bolt can contain up to one billion volts of electricity.
Tornadoes are vertical funnels of rapidly spinning air. Their winds may top 250 miles (400 kilometers) an hour and can clear-cut a pathway a mile (1.6 kilometers) wide and 50 miles (80 kilometers) long.
Uncontrolled blazes fueled by weather, wind, and dry underbrush, wildfires can burn acres of land and consume everything in their paths-in mere minutes.