Lightning is the heavy discharge of accumulated charge from clouds into the earth. Its voltage may be as high as 50,000 volts or more. There exists a potential difference between the sky and earth depending on the climatic conditions. In normal sunny days, this potential difference is around 100 volts with negligible current because the air acts as a good insulator. When clouds start to accumulate in the sky, this atmospheric charge increases to 1000 volts or more. If this charge increases further to thousands of volts, sudden discharge of charge takes place which is the lightning strike.The explosion during lightning is the result of Air column breaking.
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