Lightning - March 2022 - cool link from Obsessed to lightningmaps.org - all lightning topics welcome

billy logan

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This is an awesome link that shows lightning strikes in real time almost anywhere in the world and can zero in on your area very precisely. If you have kids and live in a lightning prone area, you will thank me for providing the best entertainment during a storm:
https://www.lightningmaps.org/?lang...y=38.9936;x=-106.3037;z=5;d=2;dl=2;dc=0;tr=1;

The cool part is when you turn on the thunder graphic and the ring will gradually go from the lightning strike and will go over your location very close in timing to the actual thunder that you hear.
On TV, probably Discovery Channel, I saw the sad case of a concert-goer at RFK Stadium in the Washington, D.C., area. She was sitting in what would be the field-level box seats for a baseball game. She was killed by lightning strike.

One reaction was "Why didn't the lightning strike instead hit the much higher top of the stadium?" The narrator of the show said:
while a strong lightning strike will hit the highest object in an area, a (relatively) weak lightning strike doesn't obey that rule.

That info doesn't help much to give a good strategy, does it? sry

Also, If you're bicycling and get caught in a storm you probably should get away your bike if it's metal.
Sheltering under a tree might not be a good idea.

I'm no expert; I expect illuminating advice to show up in this thread :)
 

tintag27

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I thought the safest place to be outside was in a car - because the lightning cannot flow to earth through the tyres,
in which case you might be safe on that bike!
 

Peegoo

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On TV, probably Discovery Channel, I saw the sad case of a concert-goer at RFK Stadium in the Washington, D.C., area. She was sitting in what would be the field-level box seats for a baseball game. She was killed by lightning strike.

I was at that concert; it was an HFStival and U2 was the headliner IIRC. It was a normal sort of day and a squall line blew through. The sky got really angry really fast, and BANG, Jeebuz reached out and poked someone on the opposite side of the stadium. The woman seated next to the person who got killed was injured.
 

billy logan

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Well, I'd believe Wikipedia (instead of me) ... a young lady suffered cardiac arrest, but recovered. No fatalities at that RFK music festival in 1998.
Tibetan_Freedom_Concert

Major League Baseball 2022 - are they complacent about lightning? Idk This is from a recent Washington Post issue.
mlb-baseball-lightning-safety

tintag27 - I'm thinking the rubber-tired metal bicycle doesn't have the surrounding metal body (the metal giving the lightning an alternate path to the ground) that the rubber-tired car has
 
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billy logan

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1654896071571.png

This is from Twitter - in the video from which this still is taken it sure looks like the lightning hit the golf ball mid-air, AND, the lightning stopped there at the ball - did not continue to the ground. omg. Does that make any sense? Like, the mass of a golf ball is a ground, an earth, like planet Earth is a ground?

Apparently it happened at a Top Golf.

Found a video of it on YouTube
 
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LightningPhil

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One reaction was "Why didn't the lightning strike instead hit the much higher top of the stadium?" The narrator of the show said:
while a strong lightning strike will hit the highest object in an area, a (relatively) weak lightning strike doesn't obey that rule.

That info doesn't help much to give a good strategy, does it?
Tall structures - startine with ones above 100 m and pronounced by 300 m - can end up with such high electric fields at their tips that they more often than not cause upward lightning. This is where a huge streamer starts from the object and heads towards the cloud, bridging most of the gap. It could be several km long before a streamer from a cloud is induced, touches it and causes a high current flash.

But we can ignore that as most things, including people, are considerably shorter than 100 m. Things which are shorter don't have sufficient field to generate enormious streamers or even any at all with clear air above them.

Cloud to ground lihtning generally has a jagged shape. The more powerful the larger the steps as the leader heads away drom its charge centre in the cloud. It's the correlation between the power of the strike and the step size that allows less powerful lightning to have gotten quite close to the ground before attempting one last step. Wheras more powerful lightning generally has its penultimate step further up.

This all means that less powerful lightning can end up going past tall but not everso close structures and then finding a convenient thing to ground itself to.
 

Slip Kid

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View attachment 992748
This is from Twitter - in the video from which this still is taken it sure looks like the lightning hit the golf ball mid-air, AND, the lightning stopped there at the ball - did not continue to the ground. omg. Does that make any sense? Like, the mass of a golf ball is a ground, an earth, like planet Earth is a ground?

Apparently it happened at a Top Golf.

Found a video of it on YouTube

I don’t expect to win parent of the year but letting that kid do that was stupid!

I don’t screw around with the chance of lightning. I went to take the dog for a walk last summer just before a storm rolled in, thinking it was still a ways out. I got a few houses away, saw a lightning bolt from the corner of my eye that was down the street and promptly turned around.

Later that summer I was standing by my window putting laundry away and lightning struck somewhere near my across the street neighbor’s house. I jumped what felt like a mile and literally had the shakes for an hour afterwards.

There was a local DJ here back in the ‘90’s that got zapped because he was on the phone and lightning hit the line (or something connected to hit).
 

Gnometowner

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Living at 9000ft in Colorado the lightning is pretty intense. Lots of folks get hit on Mt Antero ear Salida.
Also working on oilfield locations, I am surprised we never got blown up. I have seen a big bolt hit a production tank battery and make a huge fireball.
I have seen 30 cows under one tree get killed and two horses hit out on open range. One horse had its feet blown off from being well grounded in mud
 

Buckocaster51

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I was in Glacier NP hiking over the Divide from Lake Macdonald to St Mary Lake.

Well above tree line a storm came at us from done in the valley. There was lightning BELOW us.

No cover. No nothing. Water was racing down the trail and coming in over the tops of our boots.

Did we make it?

Stay tuned for the conclusion…
 

tintag27

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A couple of years ago we had a vivid lightning display in the night sky to the west of my house. I decided to take some short video clips form the back window ... I then went through the clips frame by frame to ensure I had actually caught a few flashes.
This frame was remarkable not for the flash (I got much better ones than this) but I was amazed to realise I had caught a bird in flight - I found similar shapes on 3 or 4 nearby frames, so I don't believe it was a food wrapper or some trash tossed about by the wind.
StormBird.jpg

I was really puzzled, not many birds fly at night - round here that would mean one of the local Tawny Owls, and the long wingspan of this bird would seem to support that... but, why would an Owl - that depends on its acute night vision and ultrasensitive hearing for hunting - be out on such a night, continually assaulted by buffeting wind and lightning flashes?
 

trapdoor2

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During a violent storm in 1969, the lightning was crazy. My parents opened the curtains in the living-room bay window and we turned the couch around so we could watch.

We were treated to a bout of chain lightning, where the strikes and flashes overlapped spectacularly, like the end of a fireworks show where they let everything off at once. The sky was full of color, greens, yellows, reds...and a tornado touched down about a mile away.
 

Bob Womack

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Would love to have seen the one that took out every piece of consumer electronics in our house few years back. We are talking computers to can openers, microwave, modem, TVs, alarm clocks, even a graphic EQ. Toast. It also fused phone and electrical lines in the walls.

Bob
 

billy logan

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Wow. I've been unplugging my stereo receiver during storms; I better be unplugging everything.

I guess there are lightning protection systems where you put little copper spires* on the roof and copper lines down to ground spikes. And a lightning strike would theoretically take that path, not through the wiring or the wood of your house.

I feel like I'm being unscientific or superstitious to say this: wouldn't that ATTRACT lightning to that house? then you'd be hoping the system worked perfectly.

*air terminals
1660812509375.png

googling around I see people put such lightning rods in tall trees

btw It's just a matter of time** before there's a battery material that can charge up from a lightning strike. They'll call it Franklintanium. "Yes, my children, before Franklintanium we had to burn coal and gas, and do fusion and fission, for electric power"

**I won't be around :)
 
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