Monday, 5 December 2011


Lightning has fascinated humans for a long time.

A thunderstorm, also known as a lightning storm, is a form of weather characterized by the presence of lightning and its sound effect on the Earth's atmosphere known as thunder.

The clouds at the high levels of the thunderstorm are made of ice crystals. The formation of ice in a cloud is an important element in the development of lightning. Positively charged ice crystals rise to the top of the thunderstorm and negatively charged ice particles and hailstones drop to the middle and lower parts of the storm.

If the negatively charged area at the bottom of the storm gets large enough, sends out a channel toward the ground called a step leader. It is invisible to the human eye and moves in steps toward the ground. When the step leader nears the ground, it repels all the negatively charged in the surrounding area, and attracts all the positive charge. As the positive charges collect in high enough concentration, they send out small bolts of ground to air lightning called streamers. If the streamers can make contact with the step leader, an electric current wave propagates up the channel as lightning.