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Lightning...Just When You Think You Know It All...
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WallSal55    Posted 07-18-2003 at 07:01:50       [Reply]  [No Email]
...Check out ! New info
all the time.

Redneck    Posted 07-19-2003 at 03:07:12       [Reply]  [No Email]
I always heard it went both ways.

Les    Posted 07-18-2003 at 08:57:24       [Reply]  [No Email]
When I was a little kid, we used to love thunderstorms. We kids would strip to our underwear and run around on the lawn in it. Then we'd catch the rain that came pouring off the porch roof. Great fun.

Lenore    Posted 07-18-2003 at 07:12:07       [Reply]  [No Email]

I am lazy; so here for any other lazybones.

Clod    Posted 07-18-2003 at 08:27:57       [Reply]  [No Email]
Nothing to lightning! My teacher told me that Ben Franklin tied a key to a kite string and flew it in a lightning storm.He was the inventor of the lightning rod and recovered enough to invent the harmonica.I learned recently that lightning goes from the ground upwards..But my eyes tell me otherwise.How can a tree strike a cloud? Testla the father of our AC power system used to love lightning.He tried to find ways to tap the energy for use elsewhere.But folks called him a fool.So I take it as a compliment when folks call me a fool.All my heroes have been fools. My boss fooled me into outside work today.I will be conducting experiments on a John Deer tractor today.A thunder storm is near.He hopes to me me a biological lightning rod to see if it will speed up the tractor and cut fuel cost.Lenore,If I dont get in touch by 1-30 PM,Call 911 and tell them to bring a set of jumpers to ground me to a water pipe.

lol    Posted 07-18-2003 at 19:33:29       [Reply]  [No Email]
Had lightning hit under ground water lines and blew them out in three places,

Ludwig    Posted 07-19-2003 at 06:33:44       [Reply]  [No Email]
A tree next to my grandmother's house got hit by lightining last month and it burned two 1/2" slits in the water pipe where it comes into the house.
That house is 150 years old, has had running water for 60 years or more and NEVER had anything happen like that before.

Reddee    Posted 07-18-2003 at 08:36:36       [Reply]  [No Email]
Interestingly enough, I also within the last week learned that lightning comes from the ground up!! I don't understan how trees get split wide open either. Something about the tree or ground being the "conductor"??? Oh well!! Learn somethin' everyday I suppose!! It's thundering now maybe we are finally gonna get some RAIN!!! YEEHAW!! REDD

Charles(Mo)    Posted 07-18-2003 at 11:04:03       [Reply]  [No Email]
I find that hard to believe. Lightening from the ground up? What about lightening that stays in the clouds? The electricity is formed in the sky not the earth. Anybody that knows anything about electricity will tell you it goes to ground. I guess when you drive a ground rod for your breaker box, its to get electricity. Why do we by power from the utility companies?

I ain't trying to be a smart aleck. Someone help me understand this new concept.


Salmoneye    Posted 07-18-2003 at 12:56:29       [Reply]  [No Email]
See the link...

There are thousands on the net about this...

Charles(Mo)    Posted 07-18-2003 at 13:58:13       [Reply]  [No Email]
Sorry Salmoneye, my wife says that I am bullheaded. I think that you and Redd and Clod are partly right. Here is something I copied from the Global Hydrology and Climate Center. Thunder.nsstc.nasa.
With the initial breakdown of the air in a region of strong electric fields, a streamer may begin to propagate downward toward the Earth. It moves in discrete steps of about 50 meters each and is called a stepped leader. As it grows, it creates an ionized path depositing charge along the channel, and as the stepped leader nears the Earth, a large potential difference is generated between the end of the leader and the Earth. Typically, a streamer is launched from the Earth and intercepts the descending stepped leader just before it reaches the ground. Once a connecting path is achieved, a return stroke flies up the already ionized path at close to the speed of light. This return stroke releases tremendous energy, bright light and thunder. Occasionally, where a thunderstorm grows over a tall Earth grounded object, such as a radio antenna, an upward leader may propagate from the object toward the cloud. This "ground-to-cloud" flash generally transfers a net positive charge to Earth and is characterized by upward pointing branches.

So from that, the lightning comes to ground from the clouds but it bounces back.

What is your interpretation of this?


Salmoneye    Posted 07-18-2003 at 14:19:19       [Reply]  [No Email]

The 'leader' which they describe is an ionized path formed from static(ly) charged particles ionizing the air and acting as a conductor...No discharge happens per se...This just creates a conductor...There is a potential difference between the leader (because it is attached to the cloud) and the ground, but...The action of the swirling of the clouds is what charges the cloud with this static...The whole storm itself rushing across the Earth is what creates the great potential difference (electricaly speaking) between the clouds and the ground...Once the storm has enough 'static' built up to ionize the air path (the leader) to go to ground, the greater electrical potential difference of the Earth then has a path to 'go to ground' upwards to the cloud...

The way it has been described to me is like jumpstarting a 6-volt positive 'ground' tractor with a 12-volt negative ground battery...The innards of the tractor are polarized in one direction, but it makes no difference to the starter how you hook the jumping battery (pos or neg ground) as long as the last connection is made to the post on the starter bypassing the starter switch or button...You can effectively have positive and negative current running through the body of the tractor (or the 'leader') at the same time and they do not interupt each other while going in different directions...

You really want to get confused, start looking into Ball Lightning and the relationship to the plasmoid effects of tornadoes...

Pretty cool stuff really, that no one can be definitive about yet...

Clod    Posted 07-18-2003 at 15:32:03       [Reply]  [No Email]
QUESTION>> WHY does the old tractors ignition coil have, for the secondary voltage (6VDC) plus and minus?Can the fire jump from the tip to ground?Seems there would be both positive and negative charged clouds. The site put up by Salmoneye.Look at their discription of why the thunder.I do not agree.I believe the noise is made just the same way a jet makes a sonic boom when it breaks the sound barrier or a high speed bullet that goes nearby you.Both make a booming sound because they travel above the speed of sound as does lightning.It is hard not to believe what you see when you see the lightning going down not up.They say because the human eye can not recive the info fast enough but it is possible to take a picture of a bullet going 1000 MPH.They may next try to say a bullet comes from the target back into the gun barrel.

Ludwig    Posted 07-19-2003 at 06:32:04       [Reply]  [No Email]
"They say because the human eye can not recive the info fast enough but it is possible to take a picture of a bullet going 1000 MPH.They may next try to say a bullet comes from the target back into the gun barrel."

Ahh, well a camera isn't the human eye is it? I remember back to my intro photography class when he said something like the human eye being equivalent to a 1/5000 sec setting on a camera shutter. Now there are cameras that can shoot at 1/100000 and probably faster for all I know. The trick is to take the picture while the bullet is still in the area of the frame and then snap the shutter closed again before the bullet has moved an apreciable amount. Your eye doesn't work that way at all...

Salmoneye    Posted 07-19-2003 at 03:37:57       [Reply]  [No Email]
I had an eloquent disertation about 3 pages long all written out and hit post message and it went bye-bye into the ether...

As for the 6-volt positive ground...Has to do with the Edison Effect of electrons wanting to go to ground in one direction...Change coil polarity and you lose up to 25% of your spark potential...Dunno why...Ask the guy that invented it...He doesn't answer my eMails...

For the page I posted, that was just the first one that came up on Google with results in the thousands...Many way more technical descriptions of the phenomena out there...

Jimbob    Posted 07-18-2003 at 08:46:54       [Reply]  [No Email]
I know negative charge flows to a positive charge. So, if the cloud is positive, then the lightning will start at the ground & flow the the positive charged cloud. It is so fast that it is difficult to see.

Salmoneye    Posted 07-18-2003 at 10:07:20       [Reply]  [No Email]
When your hair stands up...Hit the dirt, or better yet crawl in a hole or get inside...

You are acting as a lightning rod to ground (the Earth), and your body is creating a differential charge in relation to that of the clouds above you...

Not good...

I have seen St Elmos' Fire dance on fences, barn roofs, graphite fishing rods in a boat, and even on the backs of cows...I have seen 'ball' lightning come in one window and out the other...I have seen foot and a half sparks come from the cold water faucet and jump the gap to our drain pipe in the kitchen...

Amazing and interesting, but scarey...

Ludwig - ever see    Posted 07-19-2003 at 06:25:20       [Reply]  [No Email]
Thunder snow? Lightning in a snowstorm can be some scary. I remember being about 6 or 7 with my dad out on the snowmobile one time. We were going to go out and look for northern lights. We'd just ridden out onto the lake when clouds started coming in. We'd done a lap of the lake when it started to snow. We were sitting in the middle of the lake when I turned to Dad and said "why is my head tingly?" He'd felt it too because he started the sled and we took off like bandits. That was the first time I ever saw 100mph! We were still maybe 1/4 from the edge of the lake when the lightning started. It seemed to me like every snowflake suddenly caught on fire but with a blue flame, and the thunder was incredible! Dad says he had that sled at full throttle until we were well into the trees. Probably one of the scaryest times for either of us.

Only time...    Posted 07-19-2003 at 07:26:47       [Reply]  [No Email]
I have seen lightning in bolt form in a snowstorm was in the Wasatch above Salt Lake City...

Have seen 'flashes' many times here, but nothing like being above 10,000 feet in the middle of it...


PS...Glad you both had the sense to get the heck off that lake ;-)

Cindi    Posted 07-18-2003 at 10:26:19       [Reply]  [No Email]
Another one of my favorite parts of Lonesome Dove...when the lightning creeps across the horns of the cattle.

Ayuh...    Posted 07-18-2003 at 10:38:02       [Reply]  [No Email]
"I swear"...

Not quite like that what I saw...More an eerie blue glow...No sparks, just a glow...


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