How is lightning formed? Please describe the processes step by chrage build up by friction

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wannam eNotes educator| Certified Educator
Lightning is defined as "an atomspheric discharge of electricity." There are many factors in generating lightning that we do not completely understand. We know that atmospheric preasure, humidity, cloud make-up, and other factors play an important role in developing lightning. Before we can have lightning, there must be a thunderstorm or cloud formation. Generally, this takes the form of cumulonimbus clouds or super cells, however, it could be an ash cloud over a volcano or other type of cloud. The ions in the earth's surface and those in the cloud repel and attract each other like magnets. During a thunderstorm or other weather event, these ions become out of balance. The lightning strikes are natures way of evening out this imbalance.

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