The answer lies in this: ice crystals, especially long needles, tend to become aligned with the ambient electric field. So what you are seeing is
sunlight reflecting off ice crystal faces that are constantly being oriented by the developing electric field just above the [cumulonimbus] top. Then
there is a discharge in the cloud, and the field collapses momentarily, and the crystals begin to realign again. Then this just keeps happening over
edit on 7/9/13 by Vasa Croe because: (no reason given)
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