Are there different types of lightning bolts?

Dateline article| David Murphy|

Yes. Some lightning travels only within storm clouds and is referred to as cloud-to-cloud lightning. In this case, the bolt is reuniting positive and negative particles within different sections of clouds. But other bolts of lightning reach down from the cloud and touch objects with opposite charges at the surface. These are referred to as cloud-to-ground lightning strikes and are obviously the kind that threaten trees, buildings and people. Cloud-to-cloud lightning strikes may strike birds or planes, but pose no other threat.

---David Murphy

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