Actually, science still isn’t sure exactly how lighting forms. We do know that electrical charges build up inside thunderclouds, but we don’t know exactly how. One theory is that positively charged particles move to one side of the cloud, and negatively charged particles move to the other. Eventually the attraction between these parts of the cloud becomes so strong that they form an electrical circuit, creating lightning.
Lightening is a a product of escalating changes within a cloud. When a buildup of ice crystals occur coupled with atmospheric activity, the result is a release of electricity. The electricity occurs when a cloud, due to the ice crystals, becomes negatively charged and the molecules reach out for a positive charge either in the sky or on the surface. As a result, when the positive and negative charges meet they connect and a bolt of lightening, with is constructed of many little bolts that go too fast for the human eye, occurs.
The lightening occurs so fast that the electricity creates energy, that is emitted as heat, and a sudden expansion of the surrounding air occurs which is the birth of the thunder.
Lightning comes from clouds that are electrically charged. Clouds themselves form when evaporated water condenses in the sky. The portions of the condensing water that are heaviest (older) remain on the bottom of the cloud, while the lighter (newer) portions rise to the top. When the newer water rises, it collides with the heavier water, causing electrons to fall away and then collect at the bottom of the cloud. This in turn causes the top of the cloud to become electrically charged (since the electrons have been removed). The charged cloud affects the electons on earth like a magnet, pushing them down and away from the cloud. To neutralize the charge created, lightning forms like a pathway, leading positive ions (electrically charged particles) from earth up to the cloud and electrons at the bottom of the cloud down toward earth.
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