This morning’s lighting is making your grass grow!

With bolts of lightning evident across the country this morning, it may surprise you that lightening actually helps your grass grow.

While some farmers may have been annoyed to be woken from their slumber a little earlier this morning they can rest easy that the lighting crackling outside their windows is actually doing them a favour.

As all farmers know grass relies heavily on the element nitrogen. The atmosphere is 78% nitrogen. Grasses are unable to process the nitrogen in the air.

During a thunder and lightning storm, a bolt of lightning converts N2 from the atmosphere into ammonium and nitrate. The ensuing rainwater then dissolves these compounds and falls to the earth where it absorbs into the soil.

Both ammonium and nitrate can be directly taken up by soil without waiting for the microorganisms in the soil to do their job.

In some countries lightning may contribute up to 50% of the nitrates in the nitrogen cycle.

According to Met Eireann, thundery showers will continue today, spreading northwards throughout the morning to affect parts of Connacht, Ulster and north Leinster. Tomorrow is expected to see continued thundery showers, especially in Munster and Leinster.

In the south of the country drier weather with scattered showers has already developed and will spread to all areas later today. Some of these showers will be heavy and thundery too.

The weekend will continue to see thundery showers in the northwest, while the rest of the country will see warm and humid conditions.

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