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How does lightning occur step by step?

How does lightning occur step by step?

The lightning process is more or less the same for both types.

  1. The stepped leader. A typical CG lightning strike initiates inside the storm.
  2. Stepped leader inducing streamers.
  3. Connection is made with the ground.
  4. Connection is made with the ground.
  5. The return stroke, what we see when lightning flashes.

How does lightning become charged?

The cold air has ice crystals. The warm air has water droplets. During the storm, the droplets and crystals bump together and move apart in the air. This rubbing makes static electrical charges in the clouds.

How does lightning occur physics?

Lightning is the result of the build up of electrostatic charge in clouds. Positive and negative charges separate, negative usually towards the bottom of the cloud, while positive goes to the top. After a certain amount of time, the negative charge leaps, connecting with either another cloud or even the ground.

How does current flow in lightning?

Thus lightning is a flow of electrical current (flow of electrons) through the air from a negative to a positive charge center. As electrical current flows through a material, we say the material is conducting electricity.

What are the three stages of thunderstorms?

Thunderstorms have three stages in their life cycle: The developing stage, the mature stage, and the dissipating stage. The developing stage of a thunderstorm is marked by a cumulus cloud that is being pushed upward by a rising column of air (updraft).

What happens when lightning hits the ground?

What tends to happen when lightning strikes ground is that it fuses dirt and clays in to silicas. The result is often a glassy rock (called a fulgurite) in the shape of a convoluted tube. Fulgurite has been found all over the world, but is relatively rare. The color depends on the minerals in the sand that was struck.

Is lightning positively or negatively charged?

Some lightning come from the upper parts near the top of the thunderstorm. This is where a positive charge lives. As lightning forms in this area and travels down, it will carry a positive charge and on the ground will be negative charges. Fortunately, positive lightning accounts for less than 5% of all strikes.

What is the speed of lightning?

The speed of lightning While the flashes we see as a result of a lightning strike travel at the speed of light (670,000,000 mph) an actual lightning strike travels at a comparatively gentle 270,000 mph.

Which force is involved in lightning?

One of nature’s displays of electrical forces is the lightning storm. A lightning stroke is a brief but large current of negative charge that travels from cloud to ground along a “wire” of air molecules that have been ionized or ripped apart. Inside a thunderhead, electrical charges become separated.

How does lightning occur when two charged clouds come closer?

Heavier, negatively charged particles sink to the bottom of the cloud. When the positive and negative charges grow large enough, a giant spark – lightning – occurs between the two charges within the cloud. This is like a static electricity sparks you see, but much bigger.

Is lightning charging by conduction?

When a thunder cloud is around, it induces positive charges on the objects on the ground. As a result, a vast flow of electrons takes place between the cloud and the ground through the lightning conductor, thanks to the high conductivity of the copper cable.

Is lightning static electricity or current electricity?

Lightning is caused by a buildup of static electricity inside a storm cloud. Moving around inside the cloud are tiny water molecules called hydrometeors. These hydrometeors are colliding and bumping into each other—creating a static electric charge.

How does lightning occur in nature?

How lightning works. Negative charges gather near the base of the cloud, while positive charges build in the top of the cloud. This allows electric fields to form and grow between the cloud and the ground and within the cloud itself – all necessary conditions for lightning to occur.

How does Lightning work step by step?

How lightning works. When the stepped leader and the upward leader meet, usually between 30 to 100 metres above the ground, the negative charges begin to flow downward. Almost immediately, a much larger and luminous electric current shoots up to the cloud, following the path taken by the stepped leader.

What happens when a charged and uncharged cloud meet?

During thunderstorm, when a charged cloud passes over an uncharged cloud, uncharged cloud acquires opposite charge by induction and the two clouds attract. When they combine with each other, they produce a large amount of heat, light and sound also known as lightning. Lightning can occur between clouds or between cloud and ground.

How many types of lightning strikes does it take to form?

For every cloud-to-ground strike, there can be three to five cloud-to-cloud strikes. Another type of lightning occurs when some strokes actually emit from the ground into the sky. In this case, the stepped leader moves from the ground towards the cloud, such as in the photo below.

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