How Lightning is Created.The conditions needed to produce lightning have been known for some time. However, exactly how lightning forms has never been verified so there is room for debate. Leading theories focus around separation of electric charge and generation of an electric field within a thunderstorm. Recent studies also indicate that ice, hail, and semi-frozen water drops known as graupel are essential to lightning development. Storms that fail to produce large quantities of ice usually fail to produce lightning.
Forecasting when and where lightning will strike is not yet possible and most likely never will be. But by educating yourself about lightning and learning some basic safety rules, you, your family, and your friends can avoid needless exposure to the dangers of one of the most capricious and unpredictable forces of nature.