What’s up Weather? Even lightning comes in all shapes and sizes


Now this may surprise you, but there are actually several different types of lightning other than the typical lightning we see with everyday storms.

Red lightning, otherwise known as sprites, can’t actually be seen from ground level but it does occur in the upper atmosphere. 

Everyday thunderstorms have two different types of lightning, positively-charged and negatively-charged. These different types of lightning strikes occur by either a build-up of negative charges or a build-up of positive changes.

For example, if a storm continues to build up positive charges, it will eventually release those, which is really just seen as a positive lightning strike. Positive lightning strikes are less common than the normal cloud-to-ground negative flashes of energy. 

The crazy part about positively-charged lightning is that it sometimes also releases a red sprite. Positive lightning in itself is already uncommon, which makes red sprites an even more rare occurrence. The larger the positive charge builds up within a storm, the higher the chance of a sprite occurring once all that energy is released through a positive lightning strike. 

Sprites occur so quickly that they are not only hard to see even on satellites, but they are incredibly hard to capture an image. The length of time a sprite glows in the atmosphere is less than a second.

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