From what I understand lightning works like a simple capacitor. The convection brings up moist air that by collision with already condensed gas molecules, causes charge separation within the cloud. The bottom part of the cloud becomes negative while the top part becomes positive. The lower part of the cloud establishes a strong electric field between the upper and lower parts of the cloud as well as between the cloud and ground. Just like a capacitor. Turbulent air within the cloud makes it hard for charge from the bottom of the cloud to move up to the top of the cloud to equalize the charges. Now to my question: How can it be possible for a cloud to discharge to the ground rather than to discharge towards its upper sections witch I assume is by far much closer in space than the ground below the cloud.