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Lightning FAQ: Where can I find information about ball lightning?

By DAN ROBINSON
Storm Chaser/Photographer
25 Years of Storm Chasing
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Since there have been no scientific observations of ball lightning, little definite information exists except for theories based on eyewitness accounts. You can see a photo of what could be ball lightning at the National Geographic lightning web site. A few drawings based on eywitness descriptions have also been made.

Since an arc from a short-circuiting power line exhibits many of the characteristics attributed to ball lightning and since a direct lightning strike can cause such a short circuit, many ball lightning reports may actually be nothing more than faults (short circuits) on energized power lines.

See Also:

Ball Lightning Myths
Overview of the many phenomena mistaken for ball lightning.
Flashovers and Strikes to Power Lines
A commonly seen, but frequently misidentified phenomenon observed when lightning strikes an energized power line.
FAQ: What causes a blue-green flash during a storm?

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