My family and I love a good lightning storm. With the first bolt of lightning Scott and the boys will grab their camera gear, jump in the jeep to try and capture that split second moment of glory.
There is nothing better for me than to feel the rumble of the thunder and the sizzle of electricity in the air. Even as a child I have fond memories of watching wonderful light storms with my Mom. There is something magical about storms. Storm season never lasts long enough for me.
- 1.the occurrence of a natural electrical discharge of very short duration and high voltage between a cloud and the ground or within a cloud, accompanied by a bright flash and typically also thunder.”a tremendous flash of lightning”
There are actually six types of Lightning, each having its own individual characteristics and colours:
- Sheet Lightning
- Cloud-To-Ground/Ground-To-Cloud/Cloud-To-Cloud (Fork) Lightning
- Heat Lightning
- St. Elmo’s Fire
- Ball Lightning
- Red Sprites, Green Elves, and Blue Jets
Sheet Lightning is seen when it is close to the horizon, and is in fact Cloud-To-Ground/Ground-To-Cloud/Cloud-To-Cloud (Fork) within a cloud. The strikes can’t be seen individually, but simply light up the cloud in the distance.
Cloud-To-Ground/Ground-To-Cloud/Cloud-To-Cloud (Fork) Lightning is a result of two strikes that are travelling quickly up and down the same path (the leader stroke and the return stroke).
Heat Lightning is virtually identical to Sheet Lightning. Called Heat Lightning, the name is a result of the time of year it is seen most often; Summer.
St. Elmo’s Fire is a green or blue glow caused by the negatively charged particles in the cloud above a positively charged object on the ground.
Ball Lightning is a very rare occurence. Lasting less than five seconds, Ball Lightning is best described as small (4″ – 8″ in diameter) luminous balls that appear to leap from storm clouds, and quickly vanish.
Red Sprites are discharges that have a wide range of shapes. They discharge upwards, often in clusters, and will last longer than a normal lightning strike, leaving tendril-like branches for a few milliseconds. They look reddish orange in color.
Green Elves appear as flat, dim, greenish glows that expand out like a doughnut or saucer. They last for only a moment. They look greenish in color.
Blue Jets are cone-shaped bursts that project up from the top of a thundercloud in a cone shape at a very high speed. They are very bright. They are blue in color.