While the supply of fresh smoke into the region isn’t likely to slow down much, some late afternoon winds on Friday could help clear out some of the smoke in our area. The downside to that is the additional breeze could heat up the fire situation itself. Temperatures remain high, topping out near 100 degrees on Friday before dropping slightly into the mid-90s by the end of the weekend. Dry conditions will stick around through the middle of next week.

lightning diagram

Yesterday I mentioned that it is a separation of charges in the clouds that causes lightning. Not content with only this, Sam came back with: “OK fine, but how does the upward movement of air create a separation of charges? I suppose it’s the same as shuffling across the floor and getting a shock, but the question remains: Why?” Actually, it’s different than shuffling. The collision of hail going down and the rain going up is the crux of the cause. Electrons are ripped off the rising particles, which causes a net positive charge on the tops of the clouds, and a net negative on the bottoms. We are still learning about the exact processes involved, but it is much more involved than just a straight static electricity buildup.

lightning science