Volcanic Lightning It’s exactly what it sounds like—a lightning storm that takes place in the middle of a volcanic eruption. Scientists aren’t 100% sure why this happens, but the primary theory goes that when a volcano erupts, it projects positively-charged debris into the atmosphere. These charges then react with negative charges already present, which results in 1) a bolt of lightning, and 2) a really cool picture.
In 1980, a major volcanic eruption occurred at Mount St. Helens, a volcano located in Washington in the United States. The eruption was the only significant one to occur in the contiguous 48 states since the 1915 eruption of Lassen Peak in California