I saw photos of lightning during a volcanic eruption in Chile-how does that happen?

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by Jeff Renner

Bio | Email | Follow: @Jeffrennerwx

KING5.com

Posted on June 15, 2011 at 6:21 PM

I saw photos of lightning during a volcanic eruption in Chile-how does that happen?

Just as the turbulent movement of graupel (soft hail/ice pellets) or hail in a cloud generates lightning, the turbulent motion of ash in an eruption cloud separates electrical charges, producing lightning. Such displays were seen in the Mount St. Helens eruption, and spectacular displays were seen in a volcano that recently erupted roughly 570 miles south of Santiago, Chile.

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