Lightning Process Overview

Anybody who has experienced a lightning strike up close can tell you the awe its power inspires. Lightning typically achieves temperatures around 54,000 degrees Fahrenheit (about 5 times more hot than the sun’s surface). The thunder causes a shock-wave that can send debris flying. If you have ever wondered how lightning strikes in the first place, we’ve put together an overview of the process.

bolts of lightning




Lightning Formation:

Moisture particles constantly collide with each other inside a cloud. This makes friction, which creates an electrical charge the same way your feet do on carpet (with socks on). We don’t know exactly why, but the positive charges go to the top of the cloud and the negative ones go to the bottom. As these charges build up, they create an electrical field that pushes the protons on the ground away, giving it a positive charge. The positive charges on the ground and the negative charges in the cloud want to attract, but the air between them blocks them. However, the electrical fields send out things called “step leaders”, basically ionized air, that allow the charges to attract, and lightning strikes.


Hopefully this has sparked your interest in how mother nature operates. Always stay cautious of lightning; head inside at the first sight of a thunderstorm. Should you require repairs for storm damage in El Paso, MAK Roofing & Construction can help. To find out more about our services, please call us at (915) 691-0532.