Lightning

Lightning

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Credit: JIM REED/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Lightning. Multiple in-cloud lightning bolts. 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. In-cloud lightning occurs between the negatively charged base of a cloud and the positively charged upper levels. 'Leader electrons' move between the charged areas 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. Lightning appears red when there is rain in the cloud. Photographed in Gillette, Wyoming, USA.

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Keywords: adverse, america, american, bolt, bolts, climate, dark, electrical storm, electricity, extreme, fork, forked, forks, gillette, in-cloud, lightning, meteorology, night, night-time, storm, storms, stormy, thunderstorm, united states, us, usa, weather, wyoming

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