Q:

Does lightning strike up or down?

A:

Quick Answer

According to the NOAA, the answer is that technically, lightning is a two-way phenomenon. The part that is visible to the naked eye goes from the ground back up to the sky, but only after a path of negatively charged electricity makes its way down from the clouds.

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Full Answer

Negatively charged particles come down from the clouds in a series of bursts, and positively charged particles rise up to the top of tall objects, attracted by the above negative energy. When the two charges meet, a channel is developed through which lightning travels. The process occurs in about one-millionth of a second, too fast for the human eye to see the strike forming.

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