Animation by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) showing an example of how lightning from a typical thunderstorm may occur. As the negative charge gets close to the ground, shown in blue, a positive charge, shown in red, reaches up to meet the negative charge. Credit: NOAA Scijinks

Animation by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) showing an example of how lightning from a typical thunderstorm may occur. As the negative charge gets close to the ground, shown in blue, a positive charge, shown in red, reaches up to meet the negative charge. Credit: NOAA Scijinks

Animation by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) showing an example of how lightning from a typical thunderstorm may occur. As the negative charge gets close to the ground, shown in blue, a positive charge, shown in red, reaches up to meet the negative charge. Credit: NOAA Scijinks

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Alka Tripathy-Lang, PhD

Alka Tripathy-Lang is a freelance science writer based in Chandler, Arizona, and holds a Ph.D. in geoscience.
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