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Lightning’s Secrets Revealed March 31, 2008

Posted by tkcollier in Enviroment.
Tags: , , , ,

Researchers unravel mystery of lightning diversity | NetworkWorld.com Community
For example, most people don’t see lightning see lightning strikes that go from clouds to the ground, but some lightning goes upward, forming blue jets and gigantic jets. Perhaps the most dangerous lightning appears as “bolts from the blue” – lightning that begins upward, but then moves sideways and then downward to hit the ground as much as three miles from a thunderstorm.

About 90% of lightning occurs inside clouds and is not visible to the casual observer, researchers said.

Lightning that strikes the ground does so because precipitation or the storm’s progression creates an excess of net negative charge in the mid-levels of the cloud. This results in either a direct ground strike or a bolt from the blue, researchers saidAn alternative way to discharge a middle negative charge is through a gigantic jet, which propagates upward. The height of the clouds somewhat controls whether a gigantic jet or bolt from the blue propagates. The higher the top of the cloud, the more likely a gigantic jet will appear, researchers said. However, large positive charge in the upper levels of the storm causes blue jets.

In run-of-the-mill thunderstorms, blue jets are positive, originate in the uppermost part of the cloud and propagate continuously upward; while gigantic jets are negative, begin like a normal intracloud flash and propagate stepwise upward. Inverted polarity storms do exist and the charges of the various lightning types would then reverse, researchers said.The higher the cloud, the more likely either type of jet becomes.

Thunderstorms in the tropics form with very high clouds increasing the chances of jets forming. Thunderstorms in the temperate United States do not have clouds quite so high, allowing a great number of bolts from the blue to occur. Bolts from the blue are very common in continental mid-latitude storms, researchers said. More Storm Pictures.

Caught on Camera –40 mile long vertical Lightning bolt.

Click on the picture below to learn more about the different kinds-of lightning bolts.

Lightning bolts


1. MeMe - May 8, 2008


2. Ugly Pageant - May 26, 2008

Daot wants to know if that picture is real.

I need to know if it’s photochopped.
This picture of a tornado and lightning stroke over Lake Okeechobee was taken at about 10 PM on June 15, 1991. The photograph was taken by Mr. Fred Smith.

3. plug face - July 23, 2008


4. K. Jayne Cockrill - July 27, 2008

Fabulous and compelling picture. Love your site. Very interesting and varied stuff.


5. Dana Rose - September 7, 2008

Wow! This picture is excellent. I would be so scared if i was the person who was taking it.

6. pdross - September 18, 2008

yes, what a scary picture. Sends shivers down my spine.

7. maddy lion - September 27, 2008

thats beautiful.

8. Bob - October 3, 2008

Wow,I saved that picture as my desktop backround!

Keep putting cooler pictures!

9. Californian Times Newspaper. - October 3, 2008


Love it.

10. evelyn - October 10, 2008

oh my what God can do.. i think i would love to paint something like that , ,i am painting my harley with planets and stars and was thinking of some lightning,,and ,,,wow… cool.

11. cheyenne - October 21, 2008

God really is amazing, isn’t He?

12. Robert - October 25, 2008

i was once driving out of the canyon above Spanish Fork in Utah when i came around the corner and saw the sun setting with a brilliant rainbow right above it, then a bolt of lightning hit in a direct line between me, the rainbow and the sun. it looked so cool, but no one int he car had a camera ( and even then it would have to have been the absolute perfect timing)

13. lil girlie - December 3, 2008

cool pic!

14. Kay Thompson - December 8, 2008

Wow, i really like that picture. Its very gorgeous. I just wanted to know how did he get that picture so perfect. (: I would love to have seen it in real life. Woah

15. Ashley F - December 9, 2008

Woah, those pictures are gorgeous… But
You need to get more pictures on there so i can be like woahh!! i like those pictures too!!

16. wolfie - December 14, 2008

its in seymour simons lightning i got it autographed in 1997 im a freshmen in highscool now no its not photoshoped

17. Sabrina - December 30, 2008

That is an AMAZING picture of lightning and a tornado! I wish I was able to capture something as incredible as that! Well, I just ment to say, “THAT’S AMAZING!”

18. almaha - January 11, 2009


19. Jacob - February 26, 2009

Lightning has always intrigued me and this particular picture is one of the BEST I have ever seen. The multitude of forks are remarkable and the backdrop could not have been better. Just another wonder of nature to make me sit back in awe.

20. icecreamchan - February 20, 2010

Wow this picture is great, it really shows you everything :).

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