Explain the following causes of lightning:
  • cloud to cloud lightning
  • cloud to ground lightning

Lightening form in cumulonimbus clouds. In this type of cloud there are drops of water, hailstones and specks of ice. As the water drops and the ice particles rub and bump against each other, they become charged with electricity. There are positive charges (called protons) and negative charges (called electrons) in electricity and during the storm these charges separate. The positive charges form at the top of the cloud and negative charges form at the bottom of the cloud. Positive and negative charges are attracted to each other and as they travel through the air the electric current causes a spark, which is lightning. So lightning happens inside a cloud and between clouds.

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A?lightning?starts as clouds collide and a channel of negative charges makes its path towards the ground. In response to the discharge of negative charges coming from the cloud base, currents of positive charges start moving upward from the ground.
So the current flows from the ground to cloud.
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