On this evening I headed up into the hills to watch lightning. The first storm that made me head out the door wasn't any good for pictures, since most of the lightning was intra-cloud. But then I watched another cell pop up to my south. As this updraft exploded into the starry sky, it started producing positive lightning strikes. Positive lightning accounts for 5-10% of all lightning, and is up to 10X more powerful than negative strikes with a peak discharge of 1 billion volts. It originates from the top of a thundercloud and travels through miles of air before striking the ground. Positive bolts can hit up to 25 miles away from the parent thunderstorm. These "bolts from the blue" are especially dangerous because people may assume they're a safe distance away from the storm when they strike.
The night couldn't have been more perfect for watching lightning.A full moon helped to light up the landscape and gave the thundercloud a silver lining. I stayed in the same spot for hours as multiple storms followed the same path.