Lightning is defined by the American Meteorological Society (AMS) as “A flash of light produced by an electrical discharge in response to the buildup of an electrical potential between cloud and Earth’s surface, or between different portions of the same cloud.” That’s a big definition.
In Layman’s Terms: Lightning is formed by charge buildup within a cloud, and it can be seen in many ways. There is Cloud-to-Cloud (IC), Cloud-to-Ground (CG), and Ground-to-Cloud. Lightning is a spectacular phenomenon of nature and it has been the ability to capture the attention of anyone.
The link shows the amount of lightning strikes over a sixty minute period for the United States. If you look at the image, you can clearly see that the most activity is centered over the Chicago and Milwaukee Metropolitan areas where thunderstorms are ongoing. A very interesting site indeed. The site also includes the type of strike, with the most common type being Negatively Charged CG Lightning. Interestingly, positively charged CG is much less common than its counterpart.
That’s what I have for today. There could be some severe weather tomorrow over the Upper Midwest, so keep an eye out for my next post tomorrow morning.