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7 votes
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Why is thunder and lightning rare, even though it rains frequently?

Rain in a climate such as Ireland is most often stratiform. That is, it is created when moist air is lifted by a front, or by divergence in the upper troposphere. Thunderstorms involve buoyant air, ...
jakewx's user avatar
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6 votes
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Photo of sprites in a clear dark sky, how is this possible?

According to this Wikipedia entry Sprites occur at altitudes between 50 and 90km while the thunderstorms that create them generally top out below 16km so there is a minimum of more than 30km of height ...
Ash's user avatar
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6 votes
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Why don't lightning strikes cause a lot of injury or damage to property?

About 51 people die from lightning strikes per year in the United States. Part of the reason is the low probability of being hit by lightning. Tornadoes, hail, and straight line winds sweep large ...
BarocliniCplusplus's user avatar
6 votes
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Is Cape Canaveral really the lightning capital of the US?

It's pretty likely. Florida has the highest lightning strikes of anywhere in the US, as can by seen by this map from lightningsafety.com This is the area near Florida, with the highest levels. It's ...
PearsonArtPhoto's user avatar
5 votes

Should I worry about copper pipe outside attracting lightning strikes?

The easiest thing to do to make your copper pole safe would be to ground it and disconnect the lights from your house wiring when they aren't in use (if they are plug-in lights and not solar). This ...
ColleenV's user avatar
  • 151
5 votes
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What is the core of the lightning?

I found the paper you initially referred to here: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/JB073i006p01889/full based on the hyperlink by the xkcd webpage you referred http://www.agu.org/pubs/...
marsisalie's user avatar
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5 votes
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How are lightning and thunderstorm intensity linked?

Is the ratio of IC to CG lightning relevant? Yes. Primarily, severe storms tend to have very few cloud-to-ground (CG) strikes. Thus, the ratio of IC:CG is likely going to be very high.1 2 However, ...
hichris123's user avatar
  • 1,920
5 votes

Are there websites where I can get "lightning frequency maps" in near-real time (worldwide)?

Absolutely: The Blitzortung project has near real-time data for most if not all of the world. I've also never taken the time to research how lightning detectors exactly work, but it's likely similar.....
JeopardyTempest's user avatar
4 votes
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Did Dark Lightning turn out to be a real thing? Is this what produces gamma ray flashes from lightning storms?

According to the American Geophysical Union and reported at phys.org: Dark lightning is a burst of gamma-rays produced during thunderstorms by extremely fast moving electrons colliding with air ...
GrapefruitIsAwesome's user avatar
4 votes
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What is the best way to stay safe while photographing lightning storms?

Yes, most storm chasers are risking their lives to take lightning photos. Your likelihood of being struck is obviously higher the closer you are to where lightning is originating from. However, ...
ceeboosh's user avatar
3 votes

Are there places with rain and snow but no lightning and thunder?

Although most thunderstorms produce rain, most rain does not have associated lightning, so one should expect that there are places with rain and snow but little lightning and thunder. From an eyeball ...
David Bailey's user avatar
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3 votes

Are clouds needed for lightning?

As far as I know; no. Lightning can either come from large amounts of friction in the atmosphere, or from a discharge of built up energy sourced from space (primarily solar radiation) captured by ...
Logan's user avatar
  • 131
3 votes
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Should I worry about copper pipe outside attracting lightning strikes?

Any build up of static electricity in the ground will seek to connect with opposite charge in a storm cloud, and will spark through the line of least resistance. Any high metal structure, whether it ...
Gordon Stanger's user avatar
3 votes

Why don't lightning strikes cause a lot of injury or damage to property?

Unlike storms and floods, lightning strikes a single point. So the area directly affected by lightning is small in comparison. Another thing to consider is that when you see lightning, that does not ...
f.thorpe's user avatar
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3 votes

Lightning activity day curve - why it has high and narrow peak?

I think the simple answer to your question is that sunlight widens the potential area for storms by producing a better convective environment, whereas nocturnal storms are highly localized based on ...
Wxboyajm's user avatar
  • 426
3 votes

Why does upwards lightning use only one path but downward lightning uses multiple paths?

Upwards stroke happens when the stepped leader and the traveling spark have already connected. This path then becomes much more conductive than any other paths where the connection hasn't happened yet—...
Ruslan's user avatar
  • 461
3 votes
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Continuous lightning for over an hour; is this phenomenon common and does it have a name?

In Norwegian we call it kornmo (grain ripener); it happens in the late summer at a distance of more than 20 km so there is no sound. The English translation is: "sheet lightning - heat lightning - ...
trond hansen's user avatar
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3 votes
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Why did Hurricane Harvey have so much lightning associated with it?

The storm and basics: Here is an animation I got from this NOAA Tweet of the lightning in Harvey hours before landfall: This link, where I found the imagery, offers some basic thoughts, including the ...
JeopardyTempest's user avatar
2 votes

Can ionospheric plasma disturbances affect the weather?

Apparently it is possible for the ionosphere to influence the conditions in the lower atmosphere. The following are relatively recent results from a paper in 2009, and a summary and up-to-date state-...
AtmosphericPrisonEscape's user avatar
2 votes

Can ionospheric plasma disturbances affect the weather?

The ionosphere is too high up to affect the weather far below in the troposphere. It's more the other way around. Lightning discharges in the troposphere sometimes send vertical columns called sprites ...
Michael Walsby's user avatar
2 votes

Can a lightning strike ionise the material it strikes?

There are Fulgurites. Fulgurites are formed when lightning strikes the ground, fusing and vitrifying mineral grains.
Keith McClary's user avatar
1 vote

How to measure voltage differential across different altitudes

How could you measure the voltage between those to points? I imagine you could measure the potential difference using weather balloons. Send one balloon up to 10,000 ft (Balloon A) and one to 20,000 ...
Reifier's user avatar
  • 36
1 vote
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What voltage and/or amps cannot be found naturally?

The maximum voltage which can possibly occur depends on the materials involved and the distance. When the breakdown voltage of an insulator is exceeded, the electric potential difference is large ...
user25972's user avatar
  • 146
1 vote
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Where can I find detailed historical breakdowns of U.S. lightning fatalities on a year-by-year basis?

For a comprehensive literature review of sources of lightning fatalities data you can check the paper "Striking Back: An Assessment of Lightning related Fatality and Injury Risk in Canada", it covers ...
Camilo Rada's user avatar
  • 17.7k
1 vote

What percentage of cumulonimbus clouds create lightning?

I've done some research studies about the flash rate in various storms. My paper is now in review, but here is some info from this paper: We have computed measurements for supercell and moderate ...
Hiddenguy's user avatar
  • 105
1 vote
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Volcanoes and Lightning

Volcanic lightning was documented by one of the earliest American volcanologists, Frank A. Perret in the 1940s. However, there was not much, if any, study of the phenomena until recently. According to ...
haresfur's user avatar
  • 4,419
1 vote
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Can a voltage difference precede cloud-to-ground lightning, and can it be measured over a short distance?

There is always a background voltage difference from the ground up, of about 100V per vertical meter resulting in a net voltage difference of about 400,000V between the top of the atmosphere and earth ...
Knob Scratcher's user avatar
1 vote

Why don't lightning strikes cause a lot of injury or damage to property?

A big part of this is that lightning strikes are easy to protect against using lightning rods on buildings and metal framing with conductive tires on cars In terms of fatalities, the truth is ...
Harrychink's user avatar

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