According to Wikipedia, there are many benefits from thunderstorms. The information site explains that thunderstorms serve to cool the earth, create rainfall and remove pollution from the air.
- Thunderstorms are a direct result of atmospheric heating and increased air convection.
- Thunderstorms provide water to vegetation and also to lakes and reservoirs. Storms provide about 50 percent of the rainfall to the eastern United States, and 70 percent to the western US.
- Storm winds distribute seeds and pollen, and help remove old and weak vegetation and so make way for new growth.
- Lightning strikes liberate nitrates which fertilize the soil. Lightning produces about 20 percent of the nitrogen to the soil per year, about 250,000 tons of nitrogen to the whole earth every year.
- Also, updrafts and other wind effects remove large amounts of pollution, transporting it aloft, as well as storm rainfall washing pollution out of the air.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, a branch of the U.S. Department of Commerce, notes that strong wind not associated with thunderstorms can provide economic value in energy production.