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Thread: any lightning in snow storms?

  1. #1 any lightning in snow storms? 
    Forum Cosmic Wizard icewendigo's Avatar
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    I just realized that I've never seen or heard lightning in a snow storm, is it because theres some physics to it that makes the formation of lightning less likely(either on the ground or in the clouds)?


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    Forum Isotope Bunbury's Avatar
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    It can happen but it's rare. I've experienced it once in the foothills of the Rockies.


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    I've seen it a few times. It usually happens during strong convective snow events, such as that associated with lake effect snow storms, or associated with the passage of a strong front.

    There is a good physical reason that it's rare, there's simple less potential energy in cold air because there's the air saturates at a lower amount of water vapor. There's also usually far less convective depth and hence less vertical electrical potential. There's also the matter that snow absorbs light and sound, so even if you're outside, you need to be closer to detect it.

    As an interesting aside, most snow lighting is positive lightning strokes compared to summer events which are mostly negative lighting.
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    Forum Radioactive Isotope Paleoichneum's Avatar
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    Just to confirm what Bunbury and Lynx_fox, yes it does occur and it is rather rare. There was a small occurrence two? years ago in the Seattle area. At that time it was a big news item.

    Here is the wikipedia page
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thundersnow
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    When I was doing fieldwork at the Burgess Shale, so the rockies kinda near Calgary and Banff, Alberta, it went from a nice 25C to like 0 in under 5 minutes, complete with around an inch of snow and thunder + lightening. It moved away in like 20 minutes, but we just huddled in a tent and made sandwhiches on pieces of shale since we didn't actually have plates.

    good times.
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    Forum Sophomore Tharghana's Avatar
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    While rare, Lightning During Snowstorms is generally more dangerous because it is Positive lightning.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lightni...tive_lightning
    www.periodicvideos.com - A Great Site

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  9. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by mormoopid
    When I was doing fieldwork at the Burgess Shale, so the rockies kinda near Calgary and Banff, Alberta, it went from a nice 25C to like 0 in under 5 minutes, complete with around an inch of snow and thunder + lightening. It moved away in like 20 minutes, but we just huddled in a tent and made sandwhiches on pieces of shale since we didn't actually have plates.

    good times.
    OMG I took some of those from the area, didn't know that was it. I thought somebody ought to buy the land and quarry it for roof shingles.



    Lighting comes with hail so often I anticipate one from the other.
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tharghana
    While rare, Lightning During Snowstorms is generally more dangerous because it is Positive lightning.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lightni...tive_lightning

    Lightning in winter or in a winter storm is the same as summer lightning. Same charge. It is just that in order for lightning to penetrate cold dry air, it takes many more thousands of volts to achieve an ARC, to ground. It is often louder and a bit more frightening.

    It would be like overloading a high voltage capacitor and a low voltage capacitor. Of equal farads. When you do overload the high voltage capacitor, you are going to get a wild spark. And explosion.
    Or overloading an insulator of high ohms. When the high ohm insulator does go, again you will get a wild ARC.

    As a TIG welder I am very aware of the slightest change in temperature or humidity. And what each does to an ARC.

    People who work in factories know that if the heat goes out, or if the heat is off, on a cold day. The rather silent fluorescent lightning, will sometimes not start, depending on the temperature. Even when it starts it often ARC's many times. You can hear it, and see it flash. It is because cold air is a better insulator against ARC's.

    When cold air is subjected to an arc, it creates on its surface a very powerful abundance of electricity, that insulates the rest of the air from the source of electricity.

    Warm air, or extremely hot air, tends to transmit the electricity further, then cold air. Because the warm air is more uniformly charged. No powerful diode is created.

    The warm air does not violently, dissimilarly charge, in voltage as cold air does. Cold air violently forms a diode.
    Very hot air will transmit electricity. That is exactly what happens to the air, in the path of the lightening bolt. It is heated, creates a near vacuum that the cloud can pass electrons through.

    You can check this principle out, if you study ARC's, ARC welding and TIG welding. Benjamin Franklin, and more recently Tesla.

    You can cause a cloud to emit a beam of electrons larger in diameter then a house. A whole house can be removed from the face of the earth with such rays.

    Tesla once created such a cloud in winter. With devastating results. From many miles away. He wiped out a whole forest.

    Very cold substances, hundreds of degrees below zero. If subjected to a source of voltage with a shortage of electrons. Basically the terminal, currently labeled on the battery as (+). Can explode with the most violent of explosions.

    The marking of the battery terminal short of electrons, on a current modern battery, is a (+) symbol. This is directly against what Benjamin Franklin had prescribed.
    He wished the terminal of the battery with an abundance of electrons to be called (+) or positive. Not negative as it is now.
    That is why not many understand basic electricity. Lightning and clouds. They mislabel the flow of electricity all the time. Most of those that work with it everyday and really know. No longer discuss it. It is that weird.

    In order to responsibly consider what is taking place in a situation. You must reverse all the symbols, to think about it with sanity.

    In any event, when the cold substance is subjected to a shortage of electrons, by a solid conductor, in direct contact with its mass. Or by electrochemical reaction, within the core, the substance will instantly create a powerful blast, and very high voltage rays. Emitted from its surface. That is basically all that happens to a cloud when it emits lightening.

    Either winter or summer.

    Electricity, electrons move in only one direction. From an abundance of electrons to a shortage of electrons. There are not two types of electricity. That is what America stands for. And if you check out all the products that built America that is exactly how the manufacturers felt. They backed Benjamin Franklin 110 percent.


    Sincerely,


    William McCormick
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  11. #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by William McCormick
    Electricity, electrons move in only one direction. From an abundance of electrons to a shortage of electrons. There are not two types of electricity.
    You're right but the convention in meteorology is to define positive lightning as a net transfer of positive charge from the cloud to the ground. And given for some of the reasons you correct mentioned they tend to be much stronger, last longer and do far more damage to property and electrical interference there's good reason to distinguish between the types based on the direction of the charge.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    Quote Originally Posted by William McCormick
    Electricity, electrons move in only one direction. From an abundance of electrons to a shortage of electrons. There are not two types of electricity.
    You're right but the convention in meteorology is to define positive lightning as a net transfer of positive charge from the cloud to the ground. And given for some of the reasons you correct mentioned they tend to be much stronger, last longer and do far more damage to property and electrical interference there's good reason to distinguish between the types based on the direction of the charge.

    You have to understand that a cloud in order to transmit electrons, is going to be on the surface, that is transmitting electrons, abundant with electrons.
    That charge regardless of actuality, according to today's modern battery terminal labeling, is called negative, and is labeled (-). Certainly not according to Benjamin Franklin.

    The cloud itself in its mass is almost always short of electrons. Benjamin Franklin did this study from his hillside home. He found that some clouds could supply an abundance of electrons, or the cloud could absorb electrons. From a pole he mounted upon his roof.

    He later defined it better and did his later experiments. He found that during different stages, in the clouds existence, and position, it could emit electrons, even though it was actually short of electrons in its core. Just like objects in his lab did.

    We can easily duplicate that today.

    The reason that clouds are known to draw electricity from the surfaceo of the earth, is because the clouds, in their core, are short of electrons. When to much electricity starts moving up from the earth. The surface of the cloud overloads and emits lightning back to the earth.

    Just like a pool of mercury does in a mercury rectifier.



    The same is true of a cathode ray tube. There is just one type of flow of electrons in there. It is from an abundance of electrons to a shortage of electrons.

    If that normal flow of electrons from the power source is reversed, by a surface, super excited, by the original flow of electrons from a stable power source.
    The excited surface will reciprocate, with a flow of electrons from the artificially created, abundant with electron surface, away from that surface and even back to the surface, that is sending, and already sent, an abundance of electrons, to the super excited surface.
    This reciprocating flow will be against the flow of the power supply and originating abundant source.

    This is true with either AC or DC current.

    I actually know and work with this, and I get a bit confused by the language in that Wiki page.

    Here it is shortened.

    The cloud in the core is almost always short of electrons. The surface can become extremely excited and abundant with electrons, because it is being bombarded by electrons from earth. If the surface of the cloud is hit with more electrons, from the earth, then the surface can absorb. It will emit lightning. Until then it just absorbs and conducts.

    The problem with today's terminology is that we call the short of electron cloud core, positive by actual labeling and definition. And we call the electron abundant cloud surface that sends out a lightning bolt, negative by actual labeling and definition. That just does not sit right with me. And I know Benjamin Franklin would give everyone an earful.

    Sorry that you fell in earshot of it. Ha-ha. You do not seem like the problem, in the way of a solution. I say if you can talk about it calmly, you are not trying to create a problem. Or cover yourself.





    Sincerely,


    William McCormick
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  13. #12  
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    I'm wondering if there's ever been any reports of sprites over the lake effect storms, these are colorful upward discharges sometimes seen over thunderstorms. Not sure of their charge, but the tops of clouds are usually positive charge compared to the lower parts. Here's a picture of a sprite:
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    I'm wondering if there's ever been any reports of sprites over the lake effect storms, these are colorful upward discharges sometimes seen over thunderstorms. Not sure of their charge, but the tops of clouds are usually positive charge compared to the lower parts. Here's a picture of a sprite:
    Whenever you see electricity, move in a direction from an object. You are watching an object, that is abundant with electrons, electricity, at least upon its surface. This excited surface flows to a shortage or electrons somewhere else.

    Just like the mercury rectifier. The mercury pool itself is short of electrons. However the ray that leaves the surface of the mercury pool, is abundant with electrons. There is a diode created between the mercury and the surface of the mercury.
    That ray those electrons, actually move against the power supply flow of electrons. Because there is a greater abundance of electrons on the excited surface of the mercury, then at the source of the power supply terminal.
    And while the mercury itself is short of electrons.

    No one discusses this. Because modern science can no longer explain where the electrons are coming from. Without giving Universal Scientists a thumbs up. Along with ending their own multi subatomic particle experiments.

    So American adults talk like children about something that Benjamin Franklin could have hour long conversations about. And explain it perfectly. I am still no expert. I can just grasp and hold onto the basics.

    No one would believe the discussions I have had with experts all over America, about this subject. And the different answers I got from individuals, charged with the responsibility for knowing how things work.

    If it was a big joke I would be laughing. But as it is, you cannot discuss this with a room full of individuals and not have it come to blows, or threat of injury.
    I have so many different areas covered. That now I can quickly defend my position by just asking another question about something they do understand. And then highlight how that device must be working. And then the fellow usually says, "WOW" I never thought about it like that.

    But some guys just know, ARC or MIG welding and do not Know TIG welding. So they just assume that the electrons are coming from the (+) terminal. Because it is visible to them that way.
    Even though ARC and MIG uses an "ARC" or Mercury rectifier method of creating welding rays.
    I originally learned MIG terminology from a group of Grumman Knights, a Marine Engineer, in particular said that MIG stands for (Molten electrode, Inert, Gas) welding. And that ARC stands for (Anode, Rectified, Cathode).
    That meant that the anode emitting rays, was the Cathode that became rectified. Usually because of a very hot or molten surface.

    Today they have changed the MIG acronym, to "Metal electrode, Inert, Gas" welding. Anyone that welds knows that all three types of welding use a metal electrode. Two of the three of them use inert gas.

    I would just like to get this straightened out. So we could talk like American citizens about the weather.

    Not laying any of this on you. But if I could find the little, clandestine butt hole that wants to hide the terminology needed to discuss the weather, I think I could get him to see it my way.


    Sincerely,


    William McCormick
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