Find out how thunderstorms create deadly lightning
Tuesday, June 17, 2014, 12:29 PM -
Any thunderstorm is capable of producing lightning that could be deadly.
This week, Science Behind the Weather takes a look at how even the most powerful lightning is formed. It all has to do with the separation of positive and negative charges that surround us all the time.
The creation of lightning begins within a cloud, in a temperature range of -10 to -20 degrees Celsius. Snow has a positive charge, while hail has a negative one. When an updraft occurs in a thunderstorm, it pushes straight through the thunderstorm cloud, pushing the snowflakes up to the top. The hail and its negative charge might be static, or even slightly sinking.
As the hail becomes bigger, it can induce positive charges at the surface. If those charges become big enough and separate far enough, a bright light will strike through the sky. Just like that, we have lightning.
Take a look at some of this month’s wildest lightning strikes caught on camera.
Lightning strikes on highway 63 in Fort McMurray, Alberta.
Lightning strikes over Okanagan Mountain in British Columbia.
Lightning zaps through a pink and purple sky in Halkirk, Alberta.
A bright bolt spotted over Scarborough, Ontario.
A lightning strike captured from a balcony on 8th Street SW in Calgary, Alberta. The Nexen building is in the foreground.
Lightning bolts down opposite a field in Morden, Manitoba.
Post-thunderstorm lightning captured in Thunder Bay, Ontario.