Lightning is a type of static electricity. Electricity is the movement of electrons. That movement of electrons creates energy in the form of light and heat. Electricity is use everywhere from lightbulbs to cars! Static electricity is a type of electricity that is create to friction or a rubbing force and is released all at once. This is how lightning is formed: First, we have to start off with a storm cloud. Tiny pieces of ice, which are actually frozen water droplets, clash around inside of the storm cloud. This clashing makes an electric charge that is then stored inside of the cloud. The positively charged electricity goes to the top of the cloud and the negatively charged electricity settles at the bottom. Since opposites attract, the negative charge jumps from where it is at the bottom of the cloud to the top of the cloud. That jump is what we see as a bolt of lighting. We just said that because of the charges jumping from the negative to the positive is what causes lightning. The ground under a storm cloud is also positively charged. The positive charge tends to bunch up in things that stick up high from the ground like trees and tall buildings.
Lightning can be so hot because the intense energy released at once creates a giant shockwave of heat and light. That is why lightning is so hot! It is very hot energy/electricity!