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Upward lightning

Facts for Prelims

 Source: IE


Context: Brazilian researchers recently captured high-speed video footage of positive upward discharges of electricity from lightning conductor rods in São José dos Campos

  What is Upwards lightning?

Upward lightning is a phenomenon where lightning streaks develop from tall objects that travel upward toward electrified storm clouds (opposite to normal Lightening)

How does it happen?

Upward lightning occurs when there is a tall object, such as a building or a lightning rod, on the ground and there is an electrically charged storm cloud overhead. The tall object creates a strong electric field near the ground, and this can initiate a channel of ionized air, called an upward leader, which moves upward from the object towards the cloud. When this upward leader connects with a downward-moving stepped leader from the cloud, it completes the circuit, and a discharge of electricity flows from the cloud to the ground.