The time of onset of the initial electrification in a thunderstorm cell has been correlated with the appearance of the initial radar (3 cm) precipitation-echo. The results show that precipitation is a necessary, but not sufficient, condition for the onset of thunderstorm electrification. The presence of radar-detectable precipitation does not lead to thunderstorm electrification, unless the precipitation echo evidences rapid vertical development. When this condition is fulfilled, the appearance of the initial electrification is almost coincident with the appearance of the initial radar precipitation-echo. On days when no precipitation echoes were present, no electric fields significantly different from the fair-weather positive fields were observed, although the clouds noted ranged from small fair-weather cumulus to clouds of considerable depth and active convection.