Charge Distribution in
- lightning is generated to reduce a
buildup of positively and negatively charged
areas in a cloud
- most all lightning is observed in
cold clouds - those containing water, supercooled
water, and ice.
- within a cold cloud, a region of
positive charge is generated at the top of the
- a region of negative charge builds
up in the lower part of the storm
How is this charge distribution
- this process is not completely
- leading theories suggest that the
charge separation is created as hail and graupel
fall through supercooled drops and ice crystals.
- the resulting collisions separate
the charge -
- the large hail and graupel
particles acquire negative charge and
fall the the lower part of the storm.
- the smaller supercooled
water particles and ice crystals acquire
positive charge - are carried to the top
of the storm in the updraft.