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Red sprites and blue jets are both atmospheric and electrical phenomena that take place in the upper atmosphere. They take place above normal lightning; Blue jets happen in cone shapes above thunderstorm clouds, and are not related to lightning. They’re blue due to ionised emissions from nitrogen. Red sprites can appear as different shapes and have hanging tendrils. They occur when positive lightning goes from the cloud to the ground.

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from the Guardian

Unusual clouds - in pictures

Altocumulus undulatus clouds at Abruzzo national park, Italy. This cloud formation consists of parallel bands of cumulus clouds, occuring when wind shear affects a layer of altocumulus..

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WHAT WE STILL DON'T KNOW ABOUT LIGHTNING #2: • Most lightning strikes involve negative charge in the clouds and positive charge on the ground beneath. Occasionally the opposite occurs, also unexplained • We also don't know why gamma rays should be formed by lightning

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Cirrus Kelvin-Helmholtz clouds occur on the rarest of occasions and as a result they have yet to be widely photographed. They’re caused by shearing winds up at cloud level which move at varying speeds. When higher winds howl faster than the lower winds this causes the trough of the clouds to bend, pushing them over into a distance wave-like formations. These distinctive clouds only stick around for a few short minutes before vanishing.

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from Telegraph.co.uk

Weather pictures of the year 2011: lightning, auroras, snow and ice

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from Pouted Online Lifestyle Magazine

Weird Fire Rainbows that Appear in the Sky, Have You Ever Seen Them?

Fire rainbows are the rarest of all naturally occurring atmospheric phenomena. For a fire rainbow to occur, cirrus clouds must be 20,000 feet in the air with the precise amount of ice crystals, and the sun must hit the clouds at 58 degrees. ~Poppet

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Catatumbo Lightning - At the point where the Catatumbo River meets Lake Maracaibo in Venezuela, a constant lightning storm illuminates the sky for around 10 hours a night, for almost half the nights out of the year.

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Fire rainbows are the rarest of all naturally occurring atmospheric phenomena. For a fire rainbow to occur, cirrus clouds must be 20,000 feet in the air with the precise amount of ice crystals, and the sun must hit the clouds at 58 degrees.

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