Lighting travels ground up!

Contrary to popular belief, lightning travels from the ground upwards not from the sky downwards.

The answer is both.

Cloud-to-ground lightning comes from the sky down, but the part you see,  comes from the ground up.

A typical cloud-to-ground flash lowers a path of negative electricity (that we cannot see) towards the ground in a series of steps.

Objects on the ground generally have a positive charge. Since opposites attract, an upward streamer is sent out from the object about to be struck (mostly the floor).

When these two paths meet, a return stroke zips back up to the sky. It is the return stroke that produces the visible flash, but it all happens so fast – in about one-millionth of a second – so the human eye doesn’t see the actual formation of the stroke.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s