Lightening Effects In Thunderstorms

760 Words 4 Pages
Lightening, something that can light up an inky, blue-black night sky in a flash, is one of nature’s most remarkable phenomenon. To the common man, it is impossible that something so deadly, but venomously beautiful, could come from the sky. I have often wondered what causes such a terrifying occurrence, which is why I plan to explain the causes of lightening. Generally produced in thunderstorms, lightening is formed when liquid and ice particles above the freezing level collide. Once the liquid and ice particles collide, they build up large electrical fields in the clouds. A “spark” occurs whenever these electric fields become large enough to produce static electricity. The static electricity reduces the charge separation. The spark made …show more content…
To look at how lightening occurs between clouds, let us look at how clouds are formed. The ground must be hot. The hot ground heats the air above it and as the warm air rises, water vapor cools and forms a cloud. While the air continues to rise, the cloud continues to get bigger and bigger. At the top of the clouds, the temperature is below freezing and the water vapor turns to ice (What causes lightning?). At this point, the cloud becomes a thundercloud with lots of small bits of ice that bump into each other as they move around. These are the collisions that cause a buildup of electrical charge in each of the clouds. At some point, the whole cloud will fill up with electrical charges with the lighter, positively charged particles forming at the top of the cloud and the heavier, negatively charged particles sinking to the bottom of the cloud. When the positive and negative charges grow large enough, a giant spark, or lightning, will occur between the two charges within the cloud (What causes …show more content…
This form of lightening happens with a buildup of one type of charge, usually a positive change that come from the top of a thunderstorm, releases to an area of opposite change, that is somewhere in the atmosphere around the storm. Cloud-to-air lightening is not generally as powerful as an actual bolt of lightening that strikes the ground. In addition, this form of lightening is usually seen when the storm is farther away to the person who happens to see this bolt. When one sees this kind of bolt, there is usually no thunder due to how far away the storm is from their actual location. However, when this positive bolt does make contact with the ground, it is called a Bolt from the Blue, because the positive lightening travels straight out of the storm, for a few miles, and then strikes the ground (What causes lightning?). Cloud-to-ground lightening most often occurs near the boundary between the updraft region, where the darkest clouds are formed, and the downdraft/raining region, which is the lighter, fuzzy appearance. Sometimes, however, the lightening bolt can come out of the side of the storm, and strike a location miles away, seemingly from out of the clear blue

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