Talk:Lightning

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Former good article nominee Lightning was a good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There are suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
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Lightning prone places[edit]

Id like to include Darwin, Australia in the list of most lightening prone places. Its the most lightening prone city in Australia and has four times the lightening strikes per square kilometre than Florida which rates a mention. The article on Darwin has links to sources for its claim to be a lightening hotspot but I dont know how to either edit an article or link to sources. Is this something anyone else would be able to update please? Ta 58.169.213.78 (talk) 03:43, 25 October 2013 (UTC)

If you could provide a link that would be great. If you could find something that gives Darwin's Isokerauntic Number or Flash Density that would substantiate or disprove the "claim". Florida gets a mention simply because it is & was a hotbed for research into lightning and much of our understanding of it originates from Florida... think of NASA for a start. The dry peninsula with two warm bodies of water on either side, make it a unique lightning formation area/type. Not diminishing Darwin, just stating the reality. cheers Borealdreams (talk) 23:37, 6 March 2014 (UTC)

Charge separation[edit]

What is known about the mechanism of charge separation giving rise to lightning (however little) should be described on this page. Under "Establishing conditions necessary for lightning" there is a reference to the Thunderstorm page, but charge separation is not explained there either. Or have I missed something?--Wdanbae (talk) 20:23, 4 February 2014 (UTC)

The short answer is...it's a complicated & controversial topic. The longer answer that I remember decades ago from getting my degree in meteorology went something along the lines of...the Earth's surface has an inherent charge to it (I think it's a positive charge?), which somehow induces the opposite charge onto the bottom of clouds. Updrafts within a developing cumulonimbus cloud cause a separation of charge to occur between the top & bottom of the cloud, and when this charge separation becomes large enough...a lightning strike occurs. I might have gotten some of that brief description slightly wrong, but the theory never seemed totally well thought out to me decades ago when I first heard of it. Guy1890 (talk) 21:18, 4 February 2014 (UTC)
Agreed, complex and controversial too! To describe the complex process and follow the guidelines of wiki to do it is almost impossible and results in an incomprehensible explanation of the process. I think I snuck in a pretty good "uncited" explanation that seems to have stuck! ;) When it comes to charge separation in the clouds, there is indeed a process (that I'm not fully sure of) but however that process happens, it really has no direct bearing on how lightning forms if we just accept that the charge separation does in fact happen and knowing it can be theoretically modeled to be in different regions, we can then explain the process of lightning flash formation and discharge. Cheers Borealdreams (talk) 23:17, 6 March 2014 (UTC)

Computer simulation?[edit]

There should probably be a subsection under Scientific study, that is about the computer simulation of lightning. I know too little about it, though, to be able to write such a subsection, but I found a paper about it (Physically Based Animation and Rendering of Lightning) which is at least start. —Kri (talk) 21:15, 5 March 2014 (UTC)

Great Kri! That would be nice, but it is such a complex topic I'm not sure it is worth more than just a reference given the fact this page has in the past become such a tangled mess. Cleaning it up was no easy feat. You would be interested to know, there is a wikieditor here who makes art work based on the understanding written about in this paper. Can't recall his username, but his work is pretty amazing! Borealdreams (talk) 23:24, 6 March 2014 (UTC)
Here is also something, even though it looks like it is just a student work of some kind: Real-Time Modelling and Rendering of Lightning. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be very much written on the subject. —Kri (talk) 22:30, 23 March 2014 (UTC)

Just a thought...[edit]

http://charles794.blogspot.com.au/2013/04/44-lightning.html — Preceding unsigned comment added by 122.151.17.240 (talk) 09:22, 23 March 2014 (UTC) 122.151.17.240 (talk) 22:08, 23 March 2014 (UTC)

This talks about potential through the air, but uses non-descript details and is far from "modeling" specific. Upon finishing reading it, understanding how lightning works, I am left with the idea that "discharge" occurs in this massive, 3-dimensional rectangle that comes down from the sky using every water molecule/impurity in the air as the conductive path. We know this is not the case, and in fact the conductor, the flash channel, is an ionized "tube" of sorts only a couple of centimeters in diameter if that. Also, the potential in the air is realitively accurate, however it fails to mention the increases due to a storm cloud passing are significant, and the origin of lightning from a clear sky is non-existant (traveling miles from a storm cloud, the "bolt from a blue", comes from a cloud, not clear sky). PS, it's an unsourced blog at that. Borealdreams (talk) 22:20, 23 March 2014 (UTC)