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Weather Works: What causes static shock, and why is it worse in winter?

Meteorologist Taylor Stephenson explains the science behind winter static in this episode of 'Weather Works'

MACON, Ga. — Do you get annoyed when you want to pet or cuddle your furbaby in the winter and they shock you? How rude, right?!

Don't blame your pet for those small bolts of electricity -- blame the winter air.

We, as humans, are full of protons, neutrons and electrons. Negatively charged electrons get rubbed off when we put on clothes or slide across the carpet.

Once we lose those electrons, we gain a positive charge from the leftover protons and neutrons.

Then, we basically become a magnet when we touch a negatively charged object or animal, and we feel the electric shock.

This bolt of energy is more likely to happen in the winter because the air is cold.

Cold air can't hold as much water as warm air. Without the water vapor, the electrons in the object can't escape as easily, so the electrons get bottled up waiting to release their energy.

If you're tired of the constant shocks around your house, buy a humidifier. The added water vapor will help release those fired up electrons.

That's how your weather works!

If you have any questions on weather phenomena and why they work, email us at news@13wmaz.com. Your question may be the next Weather Works topic!

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