Ground lightning

What is Ground Lightning?

If you are reading this, but you might have heard the term “ground lightning,” and wondering what it is. Is it the same as other types of lightning? You probably don’t know too much about it, but this highly informative article is definitely going to help. The read is short but the information you get from it can be potentially life-saving.

After reading, you can share this article with your friends to let them know what ground-to-cloud lightning is. Help them to understand ground-to-cloud lightning and how to remain safe in case of its occurrence!

Ground to Cloud Lightning Definition and Basics

Did you know there are different kinds of lighting? Yes, it might all look the same, but lightning actually falls into a few different categories. There is intracloud lightning, intercloud lightning, and ground to cloud lightning. The latter is the most dangerous, and that is why we are talking about it today.

How And Why It Occurs

It could take hours to explain all of the science behind what lightning is and why it occurs but for time sake, here is a quick overview. Lightning is the electricity created when opposing charges meet. This imbalance in electrical discharge causes light and heat, aka, lightning.

In ground-to-cloud lightning, the negatively charged electricity from the clouds moves towards the ground. There is no lightning until this negative charge hits, the Earth, though. The ground has a positive charge and once the negative particles touch down, the positive charge moves back up the channel. The strike people see is the moment the opposing electrical charges connect.

Interesting Facts About Ground to Cloud Lightning

As already mentioned, ground cloud lightning is the most dangerous form of lightning for obvious reasons. If someone is anywhere near the ground where the lightning strikes, the result can be mortal. Other types of lightning are simply happening between clouds and have no effect on people. The good news is ground to cloud lightning is also the rarest type. Even with this in mind, it doesn’t hurt to be prepared in case it does happen.

Safety Tips in Case of Ground to Cloud Lightning

The first and easiest thing you can do to avoid getting in the crossfire of ground to cloud lightning is to not be outside during a bad storm. Understandably, sometimes you just get caught in the rain. In this case, stay away from elevated areas. Lightning is attracted to the highest point, so avoid things like hills and peaks.

If you can’t get to safety, make sure to avoid water, any metal, electronic equipment, and isolated trees. Make yourself the smallest target by crouching with your knees close. Keep your head tucked in and your hands over your ears. This way the only thing touching the ground is your feet. You want to have the least contact with the ground as possible.

A building or collection of buildings has the highest risk when it comes to the ground to cloud lightning. This is because they are usually the highest point found and they are primarily made of metal. This makes the electrical charges of lightning very attractive to it. With this in mind, it is recommended for business and facility managers to invest in lightning protection. Particularly business in Florida, Oklahoma, and Texas; they are known for electrical storms.


There is a very low chance you are going to encounter a situation where you have to protect yourself from ground to cloud lightning but on the slight percentage it does happen, you know what to do! Share this guide on the ground to cloud lightning to help your friends and family understand its causes, effects, and remain safe!

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