Lightning occurs during storms when ice forms in a cloud. Ice particles create energy by colliding with one another due to the rising and sinking of clouds due to drafts and wind. These collisions cause an electrical charge to build up, and the molecules begin to separate into positively and negatively charged areas. Usually, there is a positively charged area on top in the icy area of a cloud, with a large negatively charged area and another small positively charged area below it. When the energy builds high enough, usually a stream of negatively charged particles in the cloud emerge and strike down towards more positively charged areas on the ground (or taller objects such as trees).
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