Players can create lightning strikes in the game after selecting the lightning disaster in the Disaster Menu. After a player clicks on a certain part of the map, the immediate surrounding area will ignite with small flames, which will grow larger and spread out if left unattended. Since this disaster causes fires, it will not be effective towards damaging a city with decent fire coverage. Weather is not present in Simcity 4, therefore lightning will not occur naturally in the game.
- Lightning can strike land or water, although it will have no effect upon hitting water.
Lightning strikes are rare in Societies. They can only be seen in the killer storm, though it's not easy to spot them, there are no other ways to see a lightning strike in this game.