ELi5 : Why Positive charges always are on the upper side of cloud and negative charges below it ?



What happens if lightning occurs by those positive charges ( I saw a news where lightning hits 5 km away from its origin, they said it is due to positive charges )? How lightning happens during volcanoes eruption ?

In: Physics

So a thunderstorm has two parts that form lightning, an updraft and a downdraft. These are massive columns or air moving up/down. When that much air is being moved around it is easy for dirt or sand or dust to be picked up and thrown into the storm as well. When bits of the particulates collide they start to build up a charge, this happens enough times and you can have such a large difference in charge between particles that you get lightning. Now for the question, positive charges are not always on the top actually. There are 3 types of lightning, cloud to cloud, cloud to ground, and ground to cloud. All of these decided by where the charges are. While cloud to ground is the one we tend to notice the most it is definitely not the only kind. Same thing with volcanoes as well, so much ash rubbing against each other that charges are formed and lightning goes off, however that tends to be in the smoke column so technically cloud to cloud lightning.