July 3, 2022

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Video claims increased air pollution increases lightning frequency, but what about rainfall? : meteorology

1 min read

Just wondered this after watching this video on how there were less lightning flashes during COVID: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5j6y1zVJi2s

They state that during COVID, the decreased levels of pollution/particulate matter were associated with a decreased lightning strike frequency, since you get less airborne particles rubbing against each other in the air and thus less thunder strikes.

But what about rainfall? It seems that with less pollution particles, you have less nucleation sites for rain to condense, which would seem that it would be harder for rainfall to occur. However, some sources (https://www.edie.net/air-pollution-causes-more-rain-but-also-less-rain/) imply that the relationship is more complicated. Also, I recall that you usually have to use specific chemicals like silver iodide or dry ice to seed clouds, but even that method isn’t really well-established (and some question whether cloud seeding is even effective at all)…

/u/patricky168

2022-06-22 18:45:19

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