Source: Geophysical Research Letters The University of … Most lightning happens inside a cloud, but sometimes it happens between the cloud and the ground. Lightning Strikes. Strong winter snowstorms and blizzards commonly produce lightning strikes, a phenomenon referred to as 'thundersnow'. It can also travel from person to person or from telephone wires to you. We still don't know what triggers the … lightning mostly happens when there are a lot of clouds in the sky because lightning is the result when ice particles with negative charge is rubbed with another ice particle but with positive charge. An adverse operating condition may result from climatic conditions (snow, ice, wind, rain, lightning, etc. The average American has about a 1 in 5,000 chance of being struck by lightning during a lifetime. It turns out that electricity can make water strangely attractive. Lightning can induce powerful transient voltage spikes on the power lines that can destroy solid-state electronics in the space of a heartbeat. A lightning current may also hit a tree, building, or object and then travel to you. Finding out that this was a figment of Hollywood's imagination, I learned what really happens when lightning strikes the sand. A lightning current may also travel on the ground from the site of … Strikes can cause cardiac arrest and severe burns, but 9 of every 10 people survive. Lightning and thunder can occur with any type of winter precipitation - including snow, sleet ('thundersleet') and freezing rain. It can go from the cloud to the ground. Lightning is a significant weather hazard and occurs at an average rate of 50 to 100 discharges per second worldwide. The ground's positive charge concentrates around anything that sticks up - trees, lightning conductors, even people! Thundersnow. Lightning rods and metallic conductors can be used to protect a structure by intercepting and diverting the lightning current into the ground as harmlessly as possible. Yes, that was a pun. One lightning flash could run a whole power station – and there are 8 million strikes around the Earth every day. A build up of positive charge builds up on the ground beneath the cloud, attracted to the negative charge in the bottom of the cloud. Proceed with caution. A new technique can remotely sense strong electrical fields within storm clouds. Above: Christmas season lightning in St. Louis in December 2012. The main bolt or stroke will go back up to the cloud. ), 9.1 – When severe adverse weather conditions (snow, ice, wind, rain, lightning, etc.) When Ice and Lightning Align . It isn't nearly as pretty, but it is fascinating nonetheless. A weird thing happens when ice freezes under the influence of an electric field. It will make a flash of lightning. 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