Lightning strikes mountain at night, Arizona, USA

Lightning strikes mountain at night, Arizona, USA

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Credit: KEITH KENT/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Lightning. Night-time view of a bolt of lightning striking a mountain. Lightning occurs when a large, electrical charge builds up in a cloud. This is probably due to the rapid movement of water droplets and ice particles within the cloud. Large thunderclouds generally have very turbulent interiors. The charge induces an opposite charge on the ground, and a few "leader electrons" travel to the ground. When one makes contact, there is a huge backflow of energy up the path of the electron. This produces a bright flash of light and temperatures of up to 30,000 degrees celsius. Photographed in northern Arizona, USA.

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Keywords: arizona, climate, cloud to ground, electrical storm, lightning, lightning strike, meteorology, mountain, night, storm, storms, weather

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