Within our episodes of afternoon and early evening thundershowers, direct lightning hits cause consequences. It's not unusual for a bolt to cause a residential fire. There are different classifications of lightning. Ribbon lightning appears infrequently and is created when strong winds enhance a cloud to ground lightning channel over a long distance. Between the multiple strokes, each stroke in the flash is visibly separated. Another rare form of lightning is bead lightning. It occurs when the lightning channel to the ground encounters atmospheric obstacles and breaks up or disperses. When this occurs, glowing segments appear as beads or sausage links and persist longer than a normal flash. Positive or top-of-cloud lightning happens when a single stroke shoots out from the top of a cloud and strikes the ground either ahead or behind the main thundercloud. Nature provides a preliminary warning system - thunder... When you hear the thunder, head indoors a dangerous or deadly strike could be close.