It looks like the weather will clear up for the weekend, if you can ignore the smoke and haze from area fires. A stable ridge of high pressure on Saturday will result in mostly sunny and hazy conditions with temperatures in the upper-80s. The ridge will build over the next couple of days resulting in highs moving back into the 90s. By Monday, and especially Tuesday things destabilize enough to bring afternoon thunderstorms back into the mix.

positive-lightning

As I mentioned yesterday, positive lightning can be much more dangerous than negative (not that negative is anything to sneeze at.) First of all, a positive lightning bolt is generally much longer than a negative one, since it has to reach the top of the cloud instead of the bottom. This alone can add several miles to its length. Because of the greater distance the positive strikes travel, it takes a higher charge to complete the “circuit”, and positive strikes usually carry more current… up to ten times that of standard negative strikes. But what makes them even more deadly is their unpredictability.

Positive lightning strikes can hit more than ten miles away from the thunderstorm, and be literally a “bolt from the blue.” Because of that, the normal precautions that we might take as we hear thunder in the distance may not be there, because the first strike can come long before we would have heard any previous strikes.

To distinguish one type from another, positive lightning usually forks upward from the ground, while negative lightning forks downward from the cloud.

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