Ground streamer

From Glossary of Meteorology
(Redirected from Ground streamers)

ground streamer

An upward advancing column of high ionization (a streamer or arc) that typically ascends from a point on the earth's surface toward a descending stepped leader.

The ground streamer usually joins the stepped leader about 50 m above the ground, after which the upward propagating light and current of the return stroke begin. Ground streamers occur because of the very high electric field intensities that build up directly below the descending, charged stepped leader. Often, more than one ground streamer starts up from the general area under a descending leader, but usually only one makes contact with the leader.

Copyright 2022 American Meteorological Society (AMS). For permission to reuse any portion of this work, please contact Any use of material in this work that is determined to be “fair use” under Section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Act (17 U.S. Code § 107) or that satisfies the conditions specified in Section 108 of the U.S.Copyright Act (17 USC § 108) does not require AMS’s permission. Republication, systematic reproduction, posting in electronic form, such as on a website or in a searchable database, or other uses of this material, except as exempted by the above statement, require written permission or a license from AMS. Additional details are provided in the AMS Copyright Policy statement.