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dogs32

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Posted
  • Location: south London
  • Location: south London

    I dont know if anyone knows the answer to this or have any opinions...

    I recently watched a Lightning video from You Tube from Canberra Australia.

    Containing lightning like you've never seen before.

    The Thunder head was giving off about six lightning IG,CG PER SECOND!!!!!

    !!!

    I have been amazed at this scene....

    Then SteveStorm kindly sent me a DVD of a Thunderstorm giving of around at times 10-15 PER SECOND...GOING ON FOR HRS...ITS HARD TO BELIEVE WHAT YOUR WATCHING

    TRULY BREATHTAKING!!!

    My Q is how common are these such Storms.......How in all the world can a Cloud produce such INTENSE LIGHTNING...........

    If anyone hasnt seen the (AUSTRALIAN)Youtube clip its posted somewhere in the USA Storm chase area (breathtaking)

    But like i have said SteveStorm video is OUT OF THIS WORLD...JAW DROPPING

    pLZ Share if you have any idea about how common these MEGA MONSTERS ARE

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    Posted
  • Location: Caterham-on-the-hill, Surrey, 190m asl (home), Heathrow (work)
  • Location: Caterham-on-the-hill, Surrey, 190m asl (home), Heathrow (work)

    Pretty common in the Plains in Spring/early Summer mate, it's more noticeable after dusk when you can see the whole cumulonimbus flicker constantly with cloud crawlers and cgs ... you can read a book it's so continuous. Though amittedly there has only been a few occasions when it's been that intense in my 47 days of chasing over there.

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    Posted
  • Location: south London
  • Location: south London

    Thanks Nick..

    I never knew these things can be common in Plains.....So I just might see something like this...

    I thought I have seen great Storms in my life..

    But apparently not!!

    Up until recently I never knew such lightning like this existed apart from the Storms on Planet Jupiter...

    Truly Awesome!!

    Words CANNOT describe such a Storm and to think I crave UK Storms :lol:

    I dont think I will look at a UK Storm again in the same light...

    Recap of the best lightning virtual non stop footage video's are so far I have seen is exert from 2008 chase/Bristolx old chase days/Australian,Canberra and SteveStorms...

    No Wonder they are called Killer Storms

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    Posted
  • Location: Bexley (home), C London (work)
  • Weather Preferences: Thunderstorms
  • Location: Bexley (home), C London (work)

    It is truly awe-inspiring!

    There is a similar video on Youtube, called 'Very Loud Very Flashy Storm' or words to that effect. The lightning intensity is incredible, yet so too the thunder!! Out of this world!!

    I remember storms like this when I was growing up - similar heavy rain, similar intense lightning, similar LOUD bangs each time - the only difference was the frequency of the lightning - if I remember rightly, probably strobe flash and bang every 10-15 seconds or so. I havent seen a storm like it for some time though sadly.

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    Posted
  • Location: just south of Doncaster, Sth Yorks
  • Location: just south of Doncaster, Sth Yorks

    for what you ask you need high temperatures, very high, and a very cold air source from another direction

    this is Australia, with heat and humidity in the north extending into the south and the Antarctic air meeting it-result as you saw

    or the Tropics with intense heat and moisture-try Singapore for an example

    rare anything approaching that can occur in the UK but after a longish S'ly from Spain with relatively cold air coming in sourced from around Greenland then that can be your highly active cold frontal storm set up for the UK.

    the situation in the States is similar to that in Australia, availablity of high tempertures, high humidity and deep cold air converging at times

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    Posted
  • Location: south London
  • Location: south London

    Thanks for your insight John much appreciated....

    I have followed Storms practically all my life and dont understand how out of dozens of videos I have missed these storms....Im still trying to get my head around such Storms...

    I knew nature could produce violent winds...but electric like that!!!!!

    Probaly eneough electric to run the power grid of the USA

    Harry have you seen the video I am on about?

    Canberra lightning...........

    BUT if you think thats good you should see Stevesttorms..Unfortunately he hasnt got it on YouTube...But the Canberra one is the closest to it......Its like your on a different planet..no joke.....the end of the world..........

    I will see if I can find the video your on about..If you find it post up the link...

    cheers

    with lightning like that my lightning trigger would struggle to cope

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    Posted
  • Location: Caterham-on-the-hill, Surrey, 190m asl (home), Heathrow (work)
  • Location: Caterham-on-the-hill, Surrey, 190m asl (home), Heathrow (work)

    Bearing in mind in over the US Plains you frequently see 3000-4000 j/g of CAPE sometimes in excess of this - you can see why, with so much energy, that you get such intense lightning displays. Also, over the US and Australia, the cloud tops tend to gain much greater heights than they do over the UK. In fact I read somewhere that the dominant parameter determining electrical activity is the thundercloud height. T-storm cloud tops in UK rarely get much above 35,000ft but in US can grow to 65,000ft more especially Spring-Summer, that's why hail gets so large and lightning so intense. The tops can overshoot the tropopause too in the US, and where this occurs you can get strong tornadoes due the violent updrafts that can reach 100mph in vertical motion.

    Witnessing lightning in the states while chasing, the dangerous positive cloud-ground lightning strikes have often had a tendency to come out of the anvil of the storm aound the edge of the storm (hence when you think you are some distance from the storm core you are still in danger!!), along with the updraft area ... so the theory that you need a low cloud base for cgs is a myth if you think how far up the glaciated anvil can be. Some of the best electrical storms with cgs are found in the SW USA 'monsoon' in July across Arizona when you get microbursts falling from high based storms.

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    Posted
  • Location: south London
  • Location: south London

    thanks for that excellent info Nick...

    tropopause wow no wonder!!!

    If i remember correct the average jumbo travel around 54,000ft...

    I remember having 2 hr delays in Georgia because of real bad Thunder Storms....

    I was gutted as I couldnt embark off the jet to watch hit..

    So we had to sit in the jet for 2hrs

    Lightning hitting everywhere

    When we did take off I remember the jet couldn't fly over them but around them....

    Many times from seeing TS in South France from high up

    The jets wasnt to bothered about clipping the thunder heads..

    No such luck in the thunder storms in the USA with these crazy heights...

    Interesting fact that the higher the TS head the more the intense lightning..

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    Posted
  • Location: Bexley (home), C London (work)
  • Weather Preferences: Thunderstorms
  • Location: Bexley (home), C London (work)

    Hi dogs

    Yeah I saw this video only the other day in fact - absolutely incredible!!

    Just noted the comment regarding postive strikes, I have seen quite a few from storms here, including one last Wednesday night! The cloud lit up and this huge bolt shot from within and struck only about 4-5 miles away. It was a decaying MCS so I am pretty sure it was from a relatively high altitude - note the term relatively lol.

    The most incredible positive strike I saw, without question, was about 5 years ago. There'd been a fairly active storm, which moved on through quite quickly. The sun had already come out and the rain stopped. Then this huge bolt(s) hit in direct view of my lounge window, one of the few times I'd seen lightning, in the sunshine backed by light blue skies. I actually thought I was seeing things - until the incredible bang and boom that followed seconds later - it honestly felt like a concorde or tornado fighter plane was firing up in my back garden - cabinets, plates and glasses rattled like crazy!!

    I also remember seeing a documentary (a couple of times in fact) stating there was evidence to suggest there was a higher percentage of lightning bolts in NW Europe that were positive, compared to those around the rest of the world! I thought it was bizarre, but then I saw it again at a later date - sadly I cannot remember the documentary.

    Has anyone else heard this?

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    Posted
  • Location: Romford
  • Location: Romford

    Interesting indeed, I remember hearing somewhere that positive bolts often come from Atlantic Westerly type setups, perhaps cooler upper air encourages bigger hail formation and so bigger bolts perhaps? I remember one spectacular 'cool weather' storm, its churning base lit up by the setting sun, there were several CGs that hit with almost instant shotgun blasts, setting off car alarms, I've never seen a more spectacular daytime lightning show since, Westerly storms are far better than messy plume storms IMO. :lol:

    As for lightning frequency, I vaguely remember a storm from the late 90s that had incredibly frequent lightning, barrages of CGs, many of them flickering.

    Still dosen't beat Krakow in Poland back in 07, we could see the giant storm tops over the Poland/Czech border as we were flying in over Germany, we were at probrably around 30,000ft, and they were higher! After a hazy day in Krakow, the storms moved in late afternoon, lightning was immense, several CGs at a time too and massive anvil crawlers, we were staying near a big power station and industrial area too, and lightning hit some of the stacks a few times. :lol:

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    Posted
  • Location: Caterham-on-the-hill, Surrey, 190m asl (home), Heathrow (work)
  • Location: Caterham-on-the-hill, Surrey, 190m asl (home), Heathrow (work)
    Interesting indeed, I remember hearing somewhere that positive bolts often come from Atlantic Westerly type setups, perhaps cooler upper air encourages bigger hail formation and so bigger bolts perhaps? I remember one spectacular 'cool weather' storm, its churning base lit up by the setting sun, there were several CGs that hit with almost instant shotgun blasts, setting off car alarms, I've never seen a more spectacular daytime lightning show since, Westerly storms are far better than messy plume storms IMO. :)

    I disagree with all that, most of our severe storms in summer are from Spanish Plume set-ups - especially when it comes to hail size and lightning frequency. You need lots of warmth and mositure to get sufficient CAPE to get strong enough updrafts for large hail and frequent lightning. Cooler westerly airstreams just won't provide that, so not sure where you get that idea from?? You do need interaction of colder upper air moving in with an Atlantic trough to force the warm moist air upwards to create storms, but the most unstable warm moist air tends to be sourced from the S or SW ahead of the trough moving in from the Atlantic.

    Not sure why you have this fixation for westerly storms? Spanish Plume set-up storms are far more spectacular in my experience over the years.

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    Posted
  • Location: just south of Doncaster, Sth Yorks
  • Location: just south of Doncaster, Sth Yorks
    thanks for that excellent info Nick...

    tropopause wow no wonder!!!

    If i remember correct the average jumbo travel around 54,000ft...

    I remember having 2 hr delays in Georgia because of real bad Thunder Storms....

    I was gutted as I couldnt embark off the jet to watch hit..

    So we had to sit in the jet for 2hrs

    Lightning hitting everywhere

    When we did take off I remember the jet couldn't fly over them but around them....

    Many times from seeing TS in South France from high up

    The jets wasnt to bothered about clipping the thunder heads..

    No such luck in the thunder storms in the USA with these crazy heights...

    Interesting fact that the higher the TS head the more the intense lightning..

    I rather doubt that a 'jumbo' has a ceiling as high as you suggest - 54,000ft

    more likely 38-39,000ft its rare for them to go much higher.

    Not sure why you have this fixation for westerly storms? Spanish Plume set-up storms are far more spectacular in my experience over the years.

    yes would agree with that Nick

    I've seen lightning hit the sea from highish level thunder heads; at 39,000ft off Africa en route for Ascension, we were flying round a large area of Cb's-on the ITCZ (Inter Tropical Convergence Zone), several lightning flashes appeared to come out of the side of one cluster, I would estimate at 18-20000ft and then arced down to hit the sea and in one case the rigging on a container ship. This was sitting in the 'jump seat' behind the aircraft captain-the visibility was amazing, the curvature of the earth was certainly visible.

    for anyone interested in the height of the Tropopause in different areas of the world today log on to this site and simply click on the left hand list of countries then go to the next one on the right and go to skew-t

    From the pole to the equator, 15000ft to over 60000ft

    http://weather.uwyo.edu/upperair/sounding.html

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    Posted
  • Location: south London
  • Location: south London

    lol...thanks John...Couldnt quite remember the ceiling hight :)

    Just goes to show you these things are huge compared to the Euro storms

    thanks for the Link

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    Posted
  • Location: south London
  • Location: south London

    just realised I was thinking of the speed at 530 ish....If Im right this is the average speed of these jets..correct me if Im wrong..

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    Posted
  • Location: Godalming, Surrey
  • Location: Godalming, Surrey

    That Australian storm is incredible. I have to say that I prefer lightning to tornados for something to see, but then again I have never seen a tornado! :)

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    Posted
  • Location: Romford
  • Location: Romford
    Not sure why you have this fixation for westerly storms? Spanish Plume set-up storms are far more spectacular in my experience over the years.

    I'm sorry for having a different opinion, so terribly sorry. :yahoo:

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    • 3 weeks later...
    Posted
  • Location: Carmarthenshire
  • Location: Carmarthenshire
    In fact I read somewhere that the dominant parameter determining electrical activity is the thundercloud height. T-storm cloud tops in UK rarely get much above 35,000ft but in US can grow to 65,000ft more especially Spring-Summer, that's why hail gets so large and lightning so intense.

    How high do cloud tops need to get in order for a storm to turn electrical? I've noticed a few times people have posted a Skew-T diagram and commented that the cloud tops don't look high enough for lightning, so I'm just curious as to what height is needed and whether this varies at different times of the year?

    Also am I correct in assuming that it is the depth of the cloud that is important rather than just the height of the cloud tops?

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    Posted
  • Location: just south of Doncaster, Sth Yorks
  • Location: just south of Doncaster, Sth Yorks

    welcome to NW vs

    cloud tops are a function usually of the temperature at the bottom-ground level. Why? Because this tells you, to a large extent, what type of airmass you are in. 10C and its probably Polar Maritime, 30C and its either Tropical Maritime or more likely Continental. That is for this part of the world.

    Watching the chase team in the USA and the comment about tops to 65000ft is a functions again of the surface temperature-often in the high 20's C or even into the 30's C. This almost certainly means tops to 50000ft or more.

    Your comment about depth of cloud is about right-the deeper the cloud then the more likely it is to have electrical discharges set up in it.

    As with almost everything in meteorology its always complex but you have the right idea, its the depth of cloud but in winter this is less so, a winter storm with lightning may be only 10-15000ft deep, in summer, in the UK and it probably needs to be 25000ft deep; depends again on the airmass.

    anyway enjoy NW.

    ps

    In the summe rin the Uk and a further complication is upper level storms, with unstable medium level cloud giving the high level stroms which allow the lightning to be seen much further away than lower level storms. As I said its all very complex but the basics are simple enough.

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    Posted
  • Location: Carmarthenshire
  • Location: Carmarthenshire

    thanks very much for this informative reply John. I thought there probably wasn't a definitive answer, but it's good to see some rough figures for UK setups.

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