[This is an abridged item originally written by Geoff Elston of the Society for Popular Astronomy on www.popastro.com . It follows a spate of thunderstorms in northern Europe.]
"The most unusual news item that caught my eye recently was that new research had suggested that rates of lightning here on Earth might be associated with space weather (the general term used to describe the Sun’s influence on the Solar System). The research indicates that the amount of lightning we get might be modulated by the solar wind as it interacts with the Earth’s magnetic field. No one knows for certain if this association is real. Further research is needed to prove the case either way."