What causes lightning?



  1. 0 Votes

    Lightening is an electrical discharge in the atmosphere that most often happens during thunderstorms. This electrical charge is caused when liquid and ice particles collide above the freezing level in the atmosphere. The lightening strike can occur between clouds, between clouds and air, and between clouds and the ground.

  2. 0 Votes

    As cox01 explains, lightning is caused by the collision of liquid and ice particles at freezing temperatures in the atmosphere. Lightning occurs during thunderstorms and results from the build up of large eletrical fields in clouds. The electrical fields grow and when they become large enough a giant spark occurs. The spark occurs in a variety of places, like cox01 mentions (between electrical fields, between electrical fields and the ground, between clouds, between clouds and air, or between clouds and thr ground). 

    Lightning most commonly occurs between the updraft region and the downdraft (raining) region. The updraft region is where the clouds are darkest in color and the downdraft region is where they clouds are lighter in color and have a fuzzier appearance. Occasionally lightning can come out of the side of a storm and strike several miles away. 

    In a storm as long as lightning is being produced that means that so is percipitation (because the updrafts are still active if lightning can be seen). A bolt of lightning can be 50,000 degrees F, which is hotter than the surface of the sun!

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