Yes this also happens to airplanes but there is a big difference between an lighting storm and a Nuclear electromagnetic pulse.
wikipedia on Nuclear electromagnetic pulse,
“The E1 pulse is the very fast component of nuclear EMP. E1 is a very brief but intense electromagnetic field that induces very high voltages in electrical conductors. E1 causes most of its damage by causing electrical breakdown voltages to be exceeded. E1 can destroy computers and communications equipment and it changes too quickly for ordinary surge protectors to provide effective protection against it, although there are special fast-acting surge protectors that will block the E1 pulse.
The mechanism for a 400 km high-altitude burst EMP: gamma rays hit the atmosphere between 20–40 km altitude, ejecting electrons which are then deflected sideways by the Earth’s magnetic field. This makes the electrons radiate EMP over a massive area. Because of the curvature and downward tilt of Earth’s magnetic field over the USA, the maximum EMP occurs south of the detonation and the minimum occurs to the north.
E1 is produced when gamma radiation from the nuclear detonation ionizes (strips electrons from) atoms in the upper atmosphere. This is known as the Compton effect and the resulting current is called the “Compton current”. The electrons travel in a generally downward direction at relativistic speeds (more than 90 percent of the speed of light). In the absence of a magnetic field, this would produce a large, vertical pulse of electric current over the entire affected area. The Earth’s magnetic field deflects the electron flow at a right angle to the field. This interaction produces a very large, but very brief, electromagnetic pulse over the affected area.
Several physicists worked on the problem of identifying the mechanism of the uniquely large E1 pulse produced by a nuclear weapon detonated at high altitude (HEMP). The correct mechanism was finally identified by Conrad Longmire of Los Alamos National Laboratory in 1963.
Conrad Longmire gives numerical values for a typical case of E1 pulse produced by a second-generation nuclear weapon such as those of Operation Fishbowl in 1962. The typical gamma rays given off by the weapon have an energy of about 2 MeV (million electron volts). The gamma rays transfer about half of their energy to the ejected free electrons, giving an energy of about 1 MeV.
In a vacuum and absent a magnetic field, the electrons would travel with a current density tens of amperes per square metre. Because of the downward tilt of the Earth’s magnetic field at high latitudes, the area of peak field strength is a U-shaped region to the equatorial side of the nuclear detonation. As shown in the diagram at the right, for nuclear detonations over the continental United States, this U-shaped region is south of the detonation point. Near the equator, where the Earth’s magnetic field is more nearly horizontal, the E1 field strength is more nearly symmetrical around the burst location.
At geomagnetic field strengths typical of the central United States, central Europe or Australia, these initial electrons spiral around the magnetic field lines with a typical radius of about 85 metres (about 280 feet). These initial electrons are stopped by collisions with other air molecules at an average distance of about 170 metres (a little less than 580 feet). This means that most of the electrons are stopped by collisions with air molecules before completing a full spiral around the field lines.
This interaction of the very rapidly moving negatively charged electrons with the magnetic field radiates a pulse of electromagnetic energy. The pulse typically rises to its peak value in some 5 nanoseconds. Its magnitude typically decays to half of its peak value within 200 nanoseconds. (By the IEC definition, this E1 pulse ends 1000 nanoseconds after it begins.) This process occurs simultaneously on about 1025 electrons. The simultaneous action of the very large number of electrons causes the resulting electromagnetic pulses from each electron to radiate coherently, thus adding to produce a single very large amplitude, but very narrow, radiated electromagnetic pulse.
Secondary collisions cause subsequent electrons to lose energy before they reach ground level. The electrons generated by these subsequent collisions have such reduced energy that they do not contribute significantly to the E1 pulse.
These 2 MeV gamma rays typically produce an E1 pulse near ground level at moderately high latitudes that peaks at about 50,000 volts per metre. This is a peak power density of 6.6 megawatts per square metre.
The ionization process in the mid-stratosphere causes this region to become an electrical conductor, a process that blocks the production of further electromagnetic signals and causes the field strength to saturate at about 50,000 volts per metre. The strength of the E1 pulse depends upon the number and intensity of the gamma rays and upon the rapidity of the gamma ray burst. Strength is also somewhat dependent upon altitude.
There are reports of “super-EMP” nuclear weapons that are able to exceed the 50,000 volt per metre limit by the nearly instantaneous release of a burst of much higher gamma radiation levels than are known to be produced by second-generation nuclear weapons. The reality and possible construction details of these weapons are classified and unconfirmed in the open scientific literature.”