Scientists have worked out why lightning strikes certain places which could help predict future hits.
Breakthroughs in technology have allowed scientists to conclude that rather than just a bolt from the clouds, lightning is an emission of unbalanced charges both in-ground and the clouds.
Research refers to the specific ground locations for the natural phenomena as a ‘streamer’ which includes light poles and trees which connect with the “lightning ‘leaders’ from the cloud.”
The new paper reveals exactly where the lightning attachment is taking place, but the eventual location of the lightning strike cannot be identified when it begins to form in the sky.
In their study, the researchers revealed for the first time a pair of clear, consecutive images of the standard streamer zones’ formation in natural lightning.
The co-lead author, Rubin Jian explained the lightning’s attachment process is the process that ultimately identifies the object that is hit by the lightning flash.
Jian said their research is making “more specific… the breakthrough phase”.
This refers to when a pair of lightning leaders get close enough to, or nearer each other, and they have not totally connected.
Scientists have labelled the event the final jump.
The study authors said they have been able to “put more weight behind the theory that lightning” coming from a cloud is meeting a single streamer from the ground, absolutely forming a link and emitting the intense energy “in the form of a bolt of plasma“.