Crazy Australia lightning storm could occur locally

NOW: Crazy Australia lightning storm could occur locally

You have to see the time lapse video at the top of this page to grasp just how much lightning was associated with one particular thunderstorm in Australia. The storm was in the Kimberley region of Australia, in the northwest part of the country. While the video may seem fake or staged, it is indeed the real thing.

Getting thunderstorms to produce large quantities of lightning is something that happens more often than you may think. If enough energy, instability, heat, and moisture are in place, clouds will develop and grow vertically into the atmosphere. This is when they become thunderstorm clouds, or cumulonimbus clouds. As these clouds continue to get taller, the air gets colder and colder. As a result, there are more frozen water droplets floating around within the cloud. And, as they float around, they bump into each other, creating electrical charges within the cloud.

The positive charges stay near the top of the thunderstorm while the negative charges sink to the base of the cloud. This is due to negatively-charged particles weighing more as they descend within the cloud. When you have a collection of active negatively-charged particles near the base of the storm cloud, positively-charged particles sit on Earth's surface just below the cloud. 

Since opposites attract in the electrical world, the negative charges in the cloud's base and the positive charges on Earth's surface below the cloud attract each other. The result is enough electrical energy to overcome the atmosphere's insulating abilities, thus creating the cloud-to-ground lightning strikes we see occur within thunderstorms. 

To get the incredible amount of lightning strikes that the storm in the above video has, a thunderstorm must have adequate energy and instability to keep it going. As the storm maintains itself and its strength, particles within the updraft and downdraft will continue to bump into each other and lead to electrically charged particles. As that process continues and continues, the threat of a higher number of lightning strikes exists. In short, you can get scenes like the one above in the United States. Even Michiana has the ability to see a few intense lightning-producing thunderstorms each year.

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