Does Lightning Come From the Ground or the Sky?

Does Lightning Come From the Ground or the Sky?

Lightning can come from the ground or the sky. It can be discharged from one cloud to another, from a cloud to the surface, from the ground to the sky or from within a thundercloud. Lightning that originates from the surface is often forked, with the tips pointing in an upward direction.

Lightning is a natural discharge of electricity due to the accumulation of oppositely-charged particles in the atmosphere or on the surface. When the buildup of charges is high enough, electricity is discharged in the form of lightning, which is often followed by a bright flash.

Cloud-to-ground lightning strikes occur when electrons travel downward due to the attractive force exerted by the protons on the ground. When the electrons interact with the protons, a channel is formed where electricity is discharged to the surface. Ground-to-sky strikes are infrequent and usually occur from tall structures.