Lightning

Lightning

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Credit: JIM REED/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Lightning. Forked cloud-to-ground lightning over an urban area at night. 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 in the turbulent interior of the cloud. Cloud-to-ground lightning occurs between a negatively charged cloud base and the positively charged ground. 'Leader electrons' leave the cloud and when contact is made, there is a huge backflow of energy along the path of the electrons. This produces a bright flash of light and temperatures of up to 30,000 degrees Celsius. Rain makes the lightening appear red in colour. Photographed in Pampa, Texas, USA.

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Keywords: adverse, america, american, bolt, buildings, city, climate, cloud-to-ground, electrical, electrical storm, extreme, fork, illuminated, lightning, lights, meteorology, night, night-time, pampa, storm, storms, stormy, texas, thunderstorm, town, united states, urban, us, usa, weather

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