According to the NOAA, the answer is that technically, lightning is a two-way phenomenon. The part that is visible to the naked eye goes from the ground back up to the sky, but only after a path of negatively charged electricity makes its way down from the clouds.
Negatively charged particles come down from the clouds in a series of bursts, and positively charged particles rise up to the top of tall objects, attracted by the above negative energy. When the two charges meet, a channel is developed through which lightning travels. The process occurs in about one-millionth of a second, too fast for the human eye to see the strike forming.Learn More
The difference between thunder and lightning is that lightning is electromagnetic energy and thunder is sonic energy. Lightning actually causes thunder by rapidly heating and expanding the air around the path of the strike, explains a Library of Congress website.Full Answer >
Dust storms form when wind and other factors cause dust to rise high in the air, where the wind whips it around, causing destruction and damage. Dust storms are also called sand storms, though both require the same kind of light, dry dust in order to form. Sometimes, dust storms are so large that they affect local weather or create unusual sunrises or sunsets.Full Answer >
An isolated T-storm in a weather report means that a small percentage, typically between 10 percent and 20 percent of the affected area may see a thunderstorm. The clouds are usually a part of a squall line, which usually proceeds a cold front.Full Answer >
Tornadoes injure and kill people, destroy property, take a heavy financial toll, disrupt communication and create severe anxiety. The number of deaths due to tornadoes varies significantly from year to year. For example, according to NOAA, in 2008, 126 people died, but in the following year, only 21 lives were lost. Tornadoes killed 553 people in 2011, but just 70 in 2012.Full Answer >