What is lightning?

Lightning is the giant spark occurring between clouds. Lightning can occur between clouds, in the clouds or between clouds and earth. The electrical charges produced due to interaction between the current and air molecules produces this light. This light path is very fast and intense.

How does the lightning strike the earth?

Clouds are made up of number of small water droplets. Water cycle is the main reason for the formation of these water droplets. Thunders are caused by huge clouds. A cloud looks like black-blue carpet from the ground are the huge clouds which cause lightning. The strong conventional currents moves up and down between the clouds. These currents carry water droplets. The friction between air currents and water droplets hit each other to produce electrical signals. The negative charges collected at the bottom part of cloud induces positive charges on the ground below. This is the main reason for electrical discharge on ground. Thus the large amount of charges which flows in small period gives rise to lightning and thunder. The air molecules encountering this current path are heated to an extent that they emit light. And thus this path is seen as bright streak.

What happens if the lightning hits the ground?

Lightning has immense impact. They cause a lot of damages to tall trees and buildings. Electronic gadgets too get damaged if lightning strikes it. It may affect eye sight if seen through naked eyes.

What are cloud flashes?

The light lightning occurring inside the cloud, travels from one part of the cloud to another. This is known as cloud flashes.

Is it possible to have thunder without lightning?

No, it is definitely not possible to have thunders without lightning. Thunder is a resultant of lightning. As you know sound is produced due to vibrations. There is expansion of air in the path off lightning. Due to the expansion the air molecules vibrate. These sudden movements of molecules of air produce the thunder roar which you hear.

Why does the thunder sound continue for a while?

Thunders never make a big bang sound. Instead they continue for a small duration. This is because the thunder sound produced during lightning hits the other clouds. And thud the sound echoes.

Does lightning always have thunderstorm?

Thunderstorm always have lightning, but lightning need not necessarily have thunderstorm. Lightning occurring in volcano eruptions, intense forest fires, in heavy snowy storms. These lightning do not have thunderstorm.

What causes thunder?

The air molecules in the path of the current are heated to such an extent that they emit light and the path is seen as a bright streak. The sound, as know, is produced only when something vibrates. Since the air in the path of the lightning is heated suddenly, there is an instantaneous expansion of air. The air around the discharge region moves in to fill the space created by the expanding air. These sudden vibrations of air produce the thunderous sound which you hear.


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