Lightning

1967 Words8 Pages
INTRODUCTION

I remember when I was a young child; I would always be scared whenever there was a severe storm outside that included thunder and lightning. This was especially true in the hours of darkness, when you could really see the lightning. As I grew older this so-called fear of lightning turned into a fascination for this weather phenomena. One of my most vivid memories of lightning as a young man was when I was flying to Florida, the plane was at an altitude above a thunderstorm, that was producing heavy lightning, watching the flashing of the lightning popping off as we flew above the clouds, it was one of the most amazing and beautiful things I have ever seen. I believe it was at this point that my fascination with lightning began. To this day I love a good thunderstorm that produces multiple lightning strikes.

In my term paper I will attempt to take an in depth look at lightning, explaining what causes lightning, the ideal conditions that turn a storm into an electrical storm, and attempt to explain just exactly how does lightning work. And explain and/or dispel some of the rumors that surround lightning.

Main Body

Dictionary.com defines lighting as a brilliant electrical spark discharge in the atmosphere occurring within a thundercloud, between thunderclouds, or between the ground and a cloud (dictionary.com). When there is a great imbalance between positive and negative charges in the atmosphere an electrical discharge takes place, this electrical discharge is classified as lightning. (http://environment.nationalgeographic.com/environment/natural-disasters/lightning-profile/)

About 80% of all lightning occurs between clouds, with the other 20% occurring between the ground and clouds. Lighting events also generat...

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...nt, stay away from open areas, tall trees, and metal objects. (http://www.nws.noaa.gov/os/lightning/resources/lightning-safety.pdf) While lightning may be a dangerous event, it does not take away the beauty of watching a good lightning storm, as long as you are safely indoors or out of harm’s way. In the above pages I have explained how and why lightning is formed in a cloud, what causes to strike, and how the conductive path is obtained, and dispelled a few myths.

http://science.howstuffworks.com/nature/natural-disasters/lightning.htm

http://environment.nationalgeographic.com/environment/natural-disasters/lightning-profile/

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/lightning

http://www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov/

Meteorology Today: An introduction to Weather, Climate, and the Environment, Ninth Edition (international student edition), 2009 by C. Donald Ahrens

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