types of lightning

Simple and easy, forked lightning is the lightning that divides into two or more parts near the ground. Want to track live lightning strikes across the world? A bolt from the blue (sometimes called ‘anvil lightning’ or ‘anvil-to-ground’ lightning) is a name given to a cloud-to-ground lightning discharge that strikes far away from its parent thunderstorm. Cloud-to-Air (CA) Lightning  The most spectacular displays of lightning in the UK are normally associated with “Spanish Plume” type events, especially since these can occur during the night. This refers to a discharge that jumps from a cloud into clear air and terminates abruptly – indeed, CG lightning contains CA lightning via the branches that extend from the main channel into the mid-air. not visible to the observer). As it nears the ground, the negatively charged stepped leader is attracted to a channel of positive charge reaching up, a streamer, normally through something tall, such as a tree, house, or telephone pole. They extend up in narrow cones fanning out and disappearing at heights of 25-35 miles. Blue jets and gigantic jets emerge from the top of the thundercloud, but are not directly associated with cloud-to-ground lightning. Elves result when an energetic electromagnetic pulse extends up into the ionosphere. This type of lightning occurs when the discharge of the actual lightning channel is either inside the clouds or below the horizon. All rights reserved. The term sheet lightning is used to describe an IC flash embedded within a cloud that lights up as a sheet of luminosity during the flash. Such rare case makes this type of lightning special while causes more curiosity among people. There are two ways that flashes can strike ground: naturally downward (those that occur because of normal electrification in the environment), and artificially initiated or triggered upward. Such event occurs when a long and bright lightning channel jumps out of the side of a cumulonimbus cloud. Marine heatwaves put biodiversity under threat, Weather Photographer of the Year 2018 Competition, Weather Photographer of the Year 2018 Competition Launched, theWeather Club Newsletter - Issue 29 Spring 2020, Rare Moonbow Spotted in parts of Scotland. The discharge of this lightning can appear in clusters when viewed from space. You can easily tell that it is the intracloud lightning because it usually takes place within the cloud. Less commonly, a downward traveling positive leader followed by an upward return stroke will lower positive charge to earth, referred to as a positive CG (or +CG). This is the term that Australia, Canada, and the United States use for lightning that occurs with no precipitation at the surface. Lightning can also be triggered by aircraft flying through strong electric fields. There are many flashes which do not reach ground. Negative Cloud-to-Ground Lightning  (-CG) That includes their color and their looks, so let’s see how many lightning types that you know. If the plane is below the cloud, then a CG flash could result. There are roughly 5 to 10 times as many flashes that remain in the cloud as there are flashes which travel to the ground, but individual storms may have more or fewer flashes reaching ground. This return stroke current of bright luminosity travels about 60,000 miles per second back towards the cloud. CTRL + SPACE for auto-complete. Anvil crawlers usually covers very large distances just like branches of a tree in the sky. Negative CG lightning strikes can be identified by their distinctive downward branching. Most of these remain within the cloud and are called intra-cloud (IC) lightning flashes. Apart from the main 4, we have many more types of lightning with different names for easier notice. So if the bolt hits a target that sparks a fire, there is no rain to quickly snuff it out. Cloud-to-Cloud (CC) Lightning (or intercloud lightning) Elves are rapidly expanding disk-shaped glowing regions that can be up to 300 miles in diameter. Having two eyes is not that impressive in animal kingdom for some of the animals have more than two eyes. Intracloud Lightning The most common type of discharge - lightning inside a single storm cloud, jumping between different charge regions in the cloud. (Not to be confused with intracloud lightning within a single cloud). High Pressure, Poor TV Reception and Viking Colonisation, IPCC Special Report on Climate Change and Land released, All-time temperature records broken in UK and Europe. Run by the Royal Meteorological Society theWeather Club is here to help you understand the weather. Intracloud (IC) Lightning  The actual diameter of the lightning channel current is one to two inches, surrounded by a region of charged particles. Gigantic jets go even higher to the ionosphere. Those 4 types are classified into smaller types with different common names to describe a particular lightning event. The most common TLEs include red sprites, blue jets, and elves. Storms which produce mostly negative CGs tend to produce CGs earlier in the storm lifecycle and produce significantly more CGs than similar storms which instead produce mostly positive CGs. Ribbon lightning occurs in a thunderstorm with high cross winds and multiple return strokes. Heat lightning got its name because it is often seen on hot summer nights, a time when thunderstorms are common. Spider lightning refers to long, horizontally traveling flashes often seen on the underside of stratiform clouds. This type of lightning is more common on tall towers and skyscrapers. Staccato lightning is a CG lightning strike which is a short-duration stroke that often appears as a single very bright flash with considerable branching. Sprites are electrical discharges that occur high above active thunderstorms. Then it terminates in the clear air surrounding the storm with a flash in which one end of a bidirectional leader exists the cloud. Sprites, jets and other types of lightning. Artificially initiated lightning is associated with things like very tall structures, rockets and towers. Upward triggered lightning usually occurs in response to a natural lightning flash, but on rare occasions can be “self-triggered”—usually in winter storms with strong winds. Anvil Crawlers are tree-like, horizontally-moving IC lightning discharges which tend to appear along the underside of thunderstorm anvils. The lightning then moves upward at a high rate of speed. There are two ways that flashes can strike ground: naturally downward (those that occur because of normal electrification in the environment), and artificially initiated or triggered upward. A “bolt from the blue” is a CG which starts inside a cloud, goes out the side of the storm, then travels horizontally away from the cloud before going to ground. Norman, OK 73072 The 4 main types of lightning are: 1 Cloud To Cloud Lightning (CC) Spider lightning refers to long, horizontal moving flashes often seen on the underside of stratiform clouds. Triggered lightning starts at the “ground,” which in this case may mean the top of a tower, and travels upwar… Indeed, this is the origin of the term describing something unexpected: ‘out of the blue’! The more common cloud-to-ground flash has a negative stepped leader that travels downward through the cloud, followed by an upward traveling return stroke. Triggered lightning starts at the “ground,” which in this case may mean the top of a tower, and travels upward into the cloud, while “natural” lightning starts in the cloud and travels to ground.

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