In this activity, students view a short video on lightning phenomena and then answer a set of questions based on the video. They will then log on to WWLLN (which stands for the world wide lightning location network) and view recent lightning activity in the South Pacific region around New Zealand.

By the end of this activity, students should be able to:

  • describe in simple terms how an atmospheric cloud-to-ground lightning discharge occurs
  • explain the meaning of the terms ‘stepped leaderstreamer’ and ‘sferic
  • give a brief outline of the operation of WWLLN (the world wide lightning location network)
  • demonstrate familiarity with safety suggestions for people exposed to thunderstorms.

Download the Word file (see link below) for:

  • introduction/background notes
  • what you need
  • what to do
  • student handout.
    Published 29 April 2014