- Education and Science»
- Geology & Atmospheric Science
Lightning strikes twice in the same place
Lightning strikes caught on camera
While at home in my garden, not only did lightning strike twice in the same place twice. it was right in front of me, and we captured it on a video camera. We didn't know that we had captured such a rare event until we played the video through the TV.
The video has been slowed down using YouTube's video editor, so you can clearly see the red leaders coming off of my friend and me.
In the following photos and video you can see just how close it was. It is amazing that we didn't get hit.
The red leaders can be seen coming off of both my friend and I and reaching up to the sky. These red coloured leaders are the paths that lightning follows to earth. We couldn't see them until we watched the video back.
These leaders come up from ground objects including people and connect to the lightning bolt giving it a route to ground.
You can sometimes tell when you are about to get hit, as your hair stands up and you may feel a tingling sensation.
We are both extremely lucky to be alive. The slow motion conversion has made the video sound a bit weird.
Lightning Strikes Twice...Slow Motion Edit
Lightning home protection
My friend Neil, was literally just telling me how dangerous lightning was. As he finished the sentence there was an almighty crack of thunder, immediately followed by a lightning strike, not 3 feet in front of him.
We jumped out of our skins and thought that it had struck about 20 feet away and were quite amazed that we had witnessed such an event so close.
Imagine how flabbergasted we were when we saw how close it really was. What is more, when we watched the video back in slow motion; we saw that we had just probably escaped death or a fatal injury, by pure luck.
On the video on slow playback we could clearly see "two red leaders/streamers" coming off of both Neil and myself.
The red leaders or streamers come up from surface artifacts (people and objects) these rise up to connect to the lightning, and give it a "pathway" to ground.
2012 Biggest ever Recorded Lightning Storm in the UK
Over to you
Have you been struck by lightning or had a near miss
Protection the science bit
Many of the things we were told were not only untrue but in many cases completely wrong.
"Lightning doesn't strike twice in the same place?" It does.
"The chances of getting struck by lightning are low?" No its not.
A few facts about lightning strikes.
" The discharge of atmospheric electricity, a leader of a bolt of lightning can travel at speeds of 220,000 km/h (140,000 mph), and can reach temperatures approaching 30,000 °C (54,000 °F). Source Wikipedia
First things first. The odds of being struck in your lifetime (if you lived to be 80 years) are 1 in 3000. That means you have less chance of winning the UK lottery, than getting struck by lightning. The UK lottery estimates your chance of winning at, 14 million to 1.
Do the math. OK I'll do it for you 14,000.000 / 3000 = 4666.66. So you have 4,667 times more chances of getting struck by lightning than winning the UK lottery.
People actually go on holiday to areas with high lightning activity. They really enjoy watching these storms. 'Around the world, lightning strikes the ground about 100 times each second, or 8 million times a day.
There are roughly 5 to 10 times as many cloud flashes as there are to cloud-to-ground flashes, so the total amount of lightning is quite a bit higher. Source:- NOAA
The good news is you and I don't live in Valparaiso (I assume) Apparently the most lightning struck area on the planet. I hope this information helps you to decide to:-
4 top tips of lightning safety.
(1) Stay indoors when lightning is striking.
(2) Do not stand under trees or use an umbrella in a storm.
(3) If you get caught out in the open, try to crouch down close to the ground.
(4) If you are in a car you are generally safe. The body of a car acts just like a Faraday cage. Which will protect you from lightning bolts. The lightning travels around the metal body of the car.
Not much help if your car is a convertible. Good luck and keep safe.
Lightning Strike frame by frameClick thumbnail to view full-size
Sleep Meditation Thunderstorm
It might sound counter intuitive but there is such a thing as a sleep meditation thunderstorm. The sounds actually help people to fall asleep.
I must admit that I do enjoy watching these storms especially from a sheltered dry place.
There is nothing as soothing as listening to the sounds raindrops, and of a storm passing overhead.
The rising crescendo as the storm builds and finally dissipates into almost silently falling droplets. It is very relaxing.
Sleep Meditation Thunderstorm
When you see a reporter commenting "from Cape Town" they are usually on this beach which is about 20 miles around the coast with Table Mountain behind