Clouds contain millions and millions of water droplets and ice particles suspended in the air. As the process of evaporation and condensation occurs, these droplets collide with other moisture that is condensing as it rises. The importance of these collisions is that electrons are knocked off of the rising moisture, creating a charge separation. The newly knocked-off electrons gather at the lower portion of the cloud, giving it a negative charge. The rising moisture that has lost an electron carries a positive charge to the top of the cloud.


What did I understand from it?

In this, they have mentioned that the rising water vapours collide with the particles in the cloud. During this collision, the electrons in the rising water vapour are knocked off. These electrons are accumulated in the lower part of the cloud. The water vapour is now positively charged and rises further up until it reaches the upper cloud.

My question

  • When the water vapour collides with the cloud, the electron gets knocked off the water vapour. But how do those electrons get accumulated in the lower cloud?
  • It is said that lightning mainly occurs during warm climate. Is this because the warm water vapour (less dense) rises up during this climate. While rising up they pass by the ice crystals. During this, there is a transfer of electrons from ice crystals to the rising water vapour. During updraft, the cloud gets this positive charge. Could you please correct me?

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.