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A lightning flash that struck the 150-meter weather tower at Kennedy Space Center was studied by several research groups using varioul techniques. The flash had unusually large peak currents and a stepped leader of relatively short duration. The charged regions neutralized by the three return strokes were located within a horizontal layer between heights of about 6 and 8 kilometers, where environmental temperatures were about -10 degrees to -20 degrees C. The charge source for the first return stroke coincided with a vertical shaft of precipitation inferred to have been graupel or hail. Charge sources for subsequent strokes were near the edge of the detectable precipitation echo. The overall channel length was about 10 kilometers. A Vertically oriented intracloud discharge occurred after the three return strokes.
PMID: 17777737 [PubMed]
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