electrical charge is distributed. As electrical energy builds up between the positively and negatively charged areas of the storm, lightning occurs. Think of it as a gigantic spark of electricity (like static electricity sparks under your blanket when you rub your feet back and forth). Both positive and negative lightning exist, but positive lightning is considered the more dangerous of the two. Positive lightning has a stronger peak electric current and a longer duration. People often wonder whether lightning travels down from the sky or up from the ground. It actually travels both ways. Interestingly, cloud-to-ground lightning comes from the sky, but the visible part that you see comes from the ground up.
This is an example of forked lightning, which is one of four types of lightning. Forked lightning travels from the cloud to the ground.
The New Weather: Extreme Weather
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