Look at this beautiful heat lightning on a summer night. This is a good example of cloud-to-ground lightning.
It is not possible to have thunder without lightning. You may see lightning and not hear thunder because the storm is too far away. Thunder is caused by lightning, and thunderstorms always have lightning. Types of Lightning Four types of lightning exist. Cloud-to-ground lightning is called forked lightning. In thunderstorms that have high crosswinds, ribbon lightning occurs; the winds appear to be blowing the lightning across the sky, giving it a ribbon-like appearance. Staccato lightning appears in short-duration strokes and as single bright flashes of light. The last kind, bead lightning, is rare and only occurs when lightning breaks into short strings of light.
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