Some Facts and Speculations Concerning the Origin and Role of Thunderstorm Electricity

  • Bernard Vonnegut
Part of the Meteorological Monographs book series (METEOR, volume 5)


This discussion of the mysteries of thunderstorm electricity differs somewhat from most treatments of the subject. Usually it is assumed at the outset that the falling of charged precipitation particles is the cause of the electrification process. It follows, when this assumption is made, that the accumulation of charge is one of the last things to happen in the development of the cloud, and accordingly little importance is attached to the possible influence of electrical forces in determining the cloud’s behavior. Since this writing considers the possibility that electrification might take place early in the cloud’s development as the result of convection, somewhat greater attention than is customary is devoted to possible effects of electrification on the formation of precipitation and on the movement of air within the cloud.


Point Discharge Electrical Force Cloud Droplet Conduction Current Electrification Process 
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Copyright information

© American Meteorological Society 1963

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bernard Vonnegut
    • 1
  1. 1.Arthur D. Little, Inc.CambridgeUSA

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