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How does lightning form?

Storm team 10's Brady Harp explores nature's most electrifying types of weather.

Posted: Feb 26, 2019 1:43 PM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - Lightning is one of the most dangerous types of weather the Wabash Valley can experience.

We even saw some areas of lightning this weekend but what causes the lightning in the first place? Storm clouds will be moving over land and when they do so the bottom of the storm cloud likes to collect a negative charge during stormy weather.

The ground and tall objects like trees and houses collect positive charges. You've probably heard the saying "opposites attract" and this is the same with electricity.

These charges are always going to try to meet each other but they need to take the fastest route possible. This is why objects closest to the cloud are going to be struck by lightning. These charges are trying to meet each other and the quickest way to do that is the top of tall objects.

Now if you've ever rubbed your feet against the carpet and tried to touch a doorknob and saw a spark of electricity, the doorknob shocked you, this is kind of the same situation. Where these charges meet each other and that's where lightning is going to strike.

Remember: objects closest to the cloud, where the charges can meet, that's where lightning is usually going to strike. Now when a thunderstorm rolls indefinitely stay inside, stay in your car, or shelter of any kind because you do not want to be struck by lightning. Be safe!

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