Lightning. Bright flashes of light awake children during the night and send them running to their parents’ bedrooms. Within milliseconds, lightning strikes fear into the hearts of people young and old. Few of nature’s displays are as powerful – and deadly.
Lightning is caused by a discharge of electrons from storm clouds. If you’ve ever touched a friend, pet, or fuzzy sweater in the winter, you have probably felt a zap and maybe even saw a spark. The static shock you feel is the rapid discharge of electrons – and when you make contact with another person the electrons transfer rapidly from one person to the other.
Lightning is this concept, but on a larger scale; the excess electrons in storm clouds make contact with the ground and rapidly transfer, causing the same kind of light to glow. The sound (thunder) is a much larger version of the miniature shock you normally hear.
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In honor of National Lightning Safety Awareness Week, test your knowledge about lightning and lightning safety below.
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Stay Safe. Know Before™.
— The WeatherBug – Earth Networks Team
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