The previous section describes When Lightning Strikes - Positive Noise - When Lightning Strikes is called When Lightning Strikes - Positive Noise - When Lightning Strikes lightning", because there is the transfer of negative charge from the cloud to the ground.
However, not all lightning forms in the negatively charged region under the thunderstorm base. Some lightning originates in the cirrus anvil or upper parts near the top of the thunderstorm, where a high positive charge resides.
Lightning that forms in this region follows the same scenario as previously described, but the descending stepped leader will carry a positive charge while its subsequent ground streamers will have a negative charge. These bolts are known as "positive lightning" because there is a net transfer of positive charge from the cloud to the ground. However, despite a significantly lower rate of occurrence, positive lightning is particularly dangerous for several reasons. Since it originates in the upper levels of a storm, the amount of air it must burn through to reach the ground is usually much greater.
Therefore, electric fields associated with positive Cloud-to-Ground CG strikes are typically much stronger than those associated with negative strikes.
The flash duration is also longer with peak charge and potential up to ten times greater as compared to negative CG strikes; as much asamperes and one billion volts! Some positive strikes can occur within the parent thunderstorm and strike the ground beneath the cloud. If you hear thunder, you are close enough to lightning flashes that you could be struck regardless of where the Doppler radar says the storm is located. Also, positive flashes are believed to be responsible for a large percentage of forest fires and power line damage.
Thus, positive lightning is much more lethal and causes greater damage than negative lightning. Finally, there is bipolar lightning, lightning that actually changes its polarity positive becoming negative or vice versa.
It is no less dangerous than any other type of lightning but shows that we live on a complex planet with many aspects we do not fully understand. Please Contact Us. Positive lightning strike, Explosion - Jamaram - Okuchaka! by Radek Dolecki - Electric Skies. Some interesting properties of positive lightning: Bolt from the Blue photo, copyright by Al Moller.
Bolt from the Blue photo, copyright by Al Moller. Disclaimer Information Quality Help Glossary.
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