How often does Lightning Strike?

By: Ron Styne

A bolt of lightning is one of nature’s most fascinating sights. While it is usually followed by the roaring boom of thunder, the flash of a lightning bolt is remembered by all who have seen it.

lighting

In an electrical storm, the storm clouds are charged like giant capacitors in the sky. The cloud’s upper portion is positive and the lower portion is negative. There are three primary types of lightning; from a cloud to itself (intra-cloud or IC); from one cloud to another cloud (CC) and between a cloud and the ground (CG).

Although lightning primarily occurs when warm air is mixed with colder air masses, resulting in the necessary atmospheric disturbances for polarizing the atmosphere. About 70% of lightning occurs over land in the tropics where atmospheric convection is the greatest.

On Earth, the lightning frequency is approximately 40–50 times a second or nearly 1.4 billion flashes per year and the average duration is 30 microseconds.

Copper price hits two month high

-By Ron Styne

Copper prices hit a two month high for the week ending May 16th, impacted by a combination of falling warehouse inventories of raw copper and technical tightness in the markets.

Despite the recent recovery in the LME-(London Metals Exchange), market analysts remain bearish on copper’s long term pricing for the rest of this year. That attitude is being arrived at based on factors such as the Chinese construction market and a surge in supplies. New housing starts in China remain weak.

China still accounts for 35-40% of global copper consumption. In addition there is a large amount of copper accumulated in bonded warehouses used for profitable lending. However demand for copper seems to be improving outside of China.