Lightning is an atmospheric discharge of electricity which commonly occurs in rain storms, dust storms and volcanic eruptions.

Adam Ghent, brother-in-law of Israel Daniel Dickenson, the captain of the sloop-of-war Enterprise during the American Revolution, was once nearly struck by lightning. (Enterprise Logs short story: "The Veil at Valcour") Upon analyzing the carbon-scored warp nacelle of the crashed shuttlecraft Apollo on the planetoid Darien 224 Captain Christopher Pike concluded a lightning strike may have taken out the power relays on the ship. (EV comic: "Cloak and Dagger") In 2264, Chang was killed by lightning which had been attracted by his sword, which he was about to use to kill James T. Kirk. (TOS comic: "Sceptre of the Sun")