Tuesday, November 23, 2010


The photo showing a classic cloud-to-ground lightning strike and a cloud-to-cloud bolt as well was taken at Kämpfelbach near Karlsruhe (southwest of germany) on August 22, 2010. Temperatures reached the mid 80s F (25-28°C) here by late afternoon shortly before a weather front and accompanying thunderstorm blasted through. The lightning was quite intense with this storm. I estimated 10-15 flashes per minute. Cloud-to-ground electrical discharges are typically observed when the base of the cloud is negatively charged and the ground is positively charged. On the other hand, cloud-to-cloud (inter-cloud and intra-cloud) lightning occurs most often when the top of the cloud is positively charged and the base negatively charged.

Photo details: Nikon D40x camera; F/9; 1/6 second exposure time; 18mm focus length; 100 ISO.

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