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The formation of lightning

2018-09-05  |   Editor : houguangbing  

Lightning, a sudden electrostatic discharge accompanied with thunder, can be somewhat intimidating but amazing at the same time. It usually occurs in strong cumulonimbus clouds where convection develops vigorously, therefore often accompanied by strong gusts and heavy rains, sometimes accompanied by hailstones and tornadoes.

Lightning is the phenomenon of discharge in the atmosphere, mostly occurring in cumulonimbus clouds. The cumulonimbus will constantly move with the change of temperature and air flow. When the friction caused by the motion generates electricity, charged clouds layer will form with some clouds positively charged and others negatively charged.

Besides, electrostatic often oppositely charges the buildings, trees and many other things under the clouds. As the charge accumulates, the voltage of the thundercloud rises. When the thundercloud with opposite charge gets close to the projection on the ground to a certain extent, the electric field intensity is over 25-30kv/cm, resulting in an intense discharge and a bright flash. Because of the high temperature that is up to 2000℃, the air intensely expands, and therewith the roar of the explosion. That is the thunder and lightening flash. The size, frequency and movement of lightening depends on the landform, meteorological condition and latitude of different areas. Basically there is more lightening on mountain lands than plains. Also, the higher one building is, the greater the chance is for it to get stricken by lightening.

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