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Re: [TowerTalk] US Tower damaged by lightning

Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] US Tower damaged by lightning
From: David Gilbert <>
Date: Wed, 28 Apr 2010 23:27:40 -0700
List-post: <">>
The last time this topic came up somebody made the distinction between 
positive and negative lightning, so I did some Google searching on it 
and found a ton of information on it ... most of it pretty scary.  
There's even a Wikipedia page on it.  If I remember correctly, positive 
lightning carries at least ten times the amount of energy as normal 
lightning, part of it in the form of higher voltage but most of it in 
the form of much higher current.  It pretty much fries everything in its 
path and is truly wicked stuff.  It occurs pretty much randomly among 
normal lightning at something approximating a 5% -10% rate (again from 
my memory), and is known for being able to travel horizontally long 
distances to reach ground.

The Intellicast website includes a quasi real time map of lightning 
strikes across the U.S., and they distinguish between negative and 
positive strikes by using different colors (yellow for negative and red 
for positive).  I check that site quite often during our summer 
lightning season here in southern Arizona and the red dots show up more 
often than any of us would probably like to see.

Dave   AB7E

On 4/28/2010 10:48 PM, Roger (K8RI) wrote:
> However there is lighting and then there is lightning. The power in
> lighting bolts varies tremendously  by several orders of magnitude.
> There there are the so called "super strikes" that are many times more
> powerful than most lightning.  They are not only more powerful than
> regular lightning, the main power is down instead of up and they are
> usually associated with "sprites", which are seen well above the tops of
> the clouds and extending into space.  These are the ones that blow holes
> in big airplanes and are very destructive. A well laid out ground system
> that would eliminate damage from garden variety lightning may lessen the
> damage, but there is little that will protect from these.

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