Lightning FAQs:

Q: Is lightning a sudden electrostatic discharge that occurs during a thunderstorm?

A: Yes.

Q: Is lightning a form of cloud discharge?

A: Yes, and generally horizontal and at cloud base, with a luminous channel appearing to advance through the air with visually resolvable speed, often intermittently.

Q: Is lightning the most studied and best understood of the three types?

A: Yes, and even though IC and CC are more common types of lightning.

Q: Is lightning too low to account for the X-rays observed?

A: Yes.

Q: Is lightning an informal term referring to a type of cloud-to-ground lightning strike that has no visible branching and appears like a line with smooth curves as opposed to the jagged appearance of most lightning channels?

A: Yes.

Q: Is lightning cloud-to-ground lightning that exhibits branching of its path?

A: Yes.

Q: Is lightning either positive or negative?

A: Yes, as defined by the direction of the conventional electric current from cloud to ground.

Q: Is lightning notably less frequent there than over larger landforms?

A: Yes.

Q: Was lightning the source of the magnetization and provide an estimate of the peak current of the lightning discharge?

A: Yes.

Q: Is lightning CG?

A: Yes.

Q: Is lightning the most common natural cause of wildfires?

A: Yes.

Q: Is lightning cloud to ground?

A: Yes, Although more common, intracloud and cloud to cloud flashes are very difficult to study given there are no "physical" points to monitor inside the clouds.

Q: Is lightning less common than negative lightning?

A: Yes, and on average makes up less than 5% of all lightning strikes.

Q: Is lightning intended to protect rocket launching pads?

A: Yes, and electric power facilities, and other sensitive targets.

Q: Was lightning theoretically predicted as early as 1925 but no evidence was found until 2001/2002?

A: Yes, when researchers at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology detected X-ray emissions from an induced lightning strike along a grounded wire trailed behind a rocket shot into a storm cloud.

Q: Is lightning a lightning flash in which one end of a bidirectional leader exits the cloud?

A: Yes, but does not result in a ground flash.

Q: Is lightning the decaying stage of a lightning channel in which the luminosity of the channel breaks up into segments?

A: Yes.

Q: Is lightning still a matter of scientific investigation?

A: Yes.

Q: Is lightning created when leaders propagate through horizontally-extensive charge regions in mature thunderstorms?

A: Yes, and usually the stratiform regions of mesoscale convective systems.

Q: Is lightning a lightning flash that appears to produce no discernible thunder because it occurs too far away for the thunder to be heard?

A: Yes.

Q: Is lightning not distributed evenly around the planet?

A: Yes, as shown in the map.

Q: Is lightning a lightning flash which originates from the top of a grounded object and propagates upward from this point?

A: Yes.

Q: Is lightning known as thundersnow?

A: Yes.

Q: Is lightning a sign of the ire of the gods?

A: Yes.

Q: Is lightning cloud-to-cloud lightning that exhibits a diffuse brightening of the surface of a cloud?

A: Yes, and caused by the actual discharge path being hidden or too far away.

Q: Is lightning the most frequently occurring type?

A: Yes.

Q: Is lightning negative?

A: Yes, and meaning that a negative charge is transferred to ground and electrons travel downward along the lightning channel.

Q: Is lightning usually produced by cumulonimbus clouds?

A: Yes, and which have bases that are typically 1–2 km above the ground and tops up to 15 km in height.

Q: Is lightning the tendency of lightning to be loosely coordinated across long distances?

A: Yes.

Q: Is lightning a cloud-to-ground lightning strike which is a short-duration stroke that appears as a single very bright flash and often has considerable branching?

A: Yes.

Q: Is lightning called fulminology?

A: Yes, and the fear of lightning is called astraphobia.

Q: Is lightning a lightning discharge between a thundercloud and the ground?

A: Yes.

Q: Is lightning scarce owing to its infrequency and unpredictability?

A: Yes.

Q: Is lightning used in Australia?

A: Yes, and Canada and the United States for lightning that occurs with no precipitation at the surface.

Q: Is lightning "Anvil Crawler"?

A: Yes, and due to the habit of charge, typically originating beneath or within the anvil and scrambling through the upper cloud layers of a thunderstorm, often generating dramatic multiple branch strokes.