Mostly Weather Episode 4 - Lightning

In this month's episode, the Mostly Weather team take on the often shocking, sometimes electrifying and always hot topic of lightning.

Warning: this episode, like the previous sentence, contains multiple lightning puns.

Amongst a host of other lightning related facts and stories, this episode covers:-

  • The conditions needed for lightning
  • What particles get up to in clouds to create lightning - the 'rubbing a balloon on your jumper effect'
  • Brown & McFly's 1985 seminal paper: 'On charging flux capacitors'
  • What lightning bolts are made of and how much energy is within them
  • Ben Franklin's kite experiment
  • Why NASA dislike Floridian lightning storms
  • Doug's experience with a maritime faraday cage
  • How we forecast lightning and why this important for aviation, events and the Queen
  • The effects of climate change on the number of lightning strikes each year
  • Why being a man might make you more susceptible to being struck by lightning

Additional show notes

Sprites and elves

Sprites and elves Sprites and elves

XKCD comic on conditional risk

XKCD comic on conditional risk XKCD comic on conditional risk

A faintly visible example of Lichtenburg figure scarring

A faintly visible example of Lichtenburg figure scarring A faintly visible example of Lichtenburg figure scarring

Last updated: 21 January 2016

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