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What are the different types of lightning?
Answered by Discovery Channel
  • Discovery Channel

    Discovery Channel

  1. Several types of lightning can be visible during storms, thanks to a number of variables that affect the way electricity discharges in the air. The most well-known type is cloud-to-ground lightning, in which a cloud initiates the strike, causing the discharge to arc downward into the ground below. Ground-to-cloud lightning is the opposite -- in this case, a tall object on the ground initiates a strike that travels up into a cloud. Lastly, cloud-to-cloud lightning occurs when a bolt arcs between two clouds in the sky without actually reaching the ground. These three types of strikes make up the bulk of most naturally occurring lightning, though several rarer phenomena may occur in special circumstances.

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