Lightning and Rain Formation


Image Source:


1.  In 2006, scientists began to use satellite imaging to see if there was a correlation between the amount of charged ice in clouds and the amount of lightning activity

  • Ice particles within cloud carry a positive or negative charge
  • As the particles collide, the charge builds up and results in lightning

2.  Thunderstorm clouds are filled with tiny ice particles that are kept aloft by air pressure and wind

  • There is a point however, where they are too large and fall to earth in the form of “Precipitation”
  • The more ice in the cloud, the more rain will be produced as the ice melts

3.  The key is that ice is vital to the development of lightning

  • As different ice particles collide (each carrying their own positive or negative charge), their electric charge grows
  • When that charge is finally released — we see lightning

4.  In effect, the more ice in a cloud that you have, the more lightning is likely to be generated

  • The more ice (and therefore lightning within the cloud), the more rain will be produced

Information Source: