Lightning discharge

From Glossary of Meteorology

lightning discharge

The series of electrical processes taking place within 1 s by which charge is transferred along a discharge channel between electric charge centers of opposite sign within a thundercloud (intracloud flash), between a cloud charge center and the earth's surface (cloud- to-ground flash or ground-to-cloud discharge), between two different clouds (intercloud or cloud-to-cloud discharge), or between a cloud charge and the air (air discharge).

It is a very large-scale form of the common spark discharge. A single lightning discharge is called a lightning flash.