Rare footage of positive lightning captured by Florida woman cribbing about weather

The positive lightning struck when she least expected, just like lightning usually does!

An unassuming woman from Florida captured a video meant for her family and friends complaining about the horrible weather in Boynton Beach, Florida. In the process, she captured a rare phenomenon that has rarely been caught on video before — positive lightning.

Her video, which went viral in a matter of hours, shows her pulling the blinds of the window open and screaming second later, when the lightning struck. The 12-second slip looks and sounds like fireworks bursting. Experts at the National Weather Service in Miami call it 'positive lightning', which is remarkably different in the way it forms than the more common, "negative" lightning.

While she was safe in her apartment, Hite is pretty shaken up by the incident. In an interview with Palm Beach Post, Hite said "It was crazy. Very scary, very loud. It was just the right place at the right time. I could probably never in my life get something like that again."

She's probably right. Positive lightning is really rare, and originates in the upper reaches of a cloud's anvil. They make up less than 5 percent of all strikes, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, but can be ten times as strong as the more common, negative lightning.

Similar to a battery, which has two opposite charges on either end (+ positive and – negative) and a flow of charge inside the battery from negative to positive, lightning too, carries a massive amount of charge when it strikes. Of all the lighting strikes that take place, 90-95 percent are negatively-charged, when negative charge flows from the cloud to the ground in the lightning strike.

Rare footage of positive lightning captured by Florida woman cribbing about weather

Representational image.

However,  sometimes lightning originates in the middle or upper region of thunderstorm clouds, where a massive amount of positive charge is stored. This causes a bolt of 'positive lightning', which can be much more dangerous than its negative cousin.

Positive lightning that reached the ground is often rarer and much more dangerous than negative lightning. Image courtesy: NOAA

The lightning strike did not do any significant damage other than hitting a concrete dumpster enclosure.

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