8500 Homes Without Power Following Light ...
Emergency crews are working to restore power supply to about 8,500 people in the Blue Mountains.
Endeavour Energy responded to the outage after lightning strikes struck power lines earlier this afternoon.
Lightning interrupted power to homes and businesses in Springwood, Winmalee, Faulconbridge, Valley Heights, Linden, Hawkesbury Heights and Sun Valley.
“Emergency crews are currently patrolling the area to commence the restoration process,” an Endeavour Energy spokesman told The Daily Telegraph.
“Until these patrols are completed it is not possible to give an estimate of the time it will take to restore power supply to affected customers.”
He urged people who require power for medical equipment to check their battery supply and “consider acting on their back up plan”.
Endeavour Energy thanked residents for their patience as they attempt to restore power.
Source - News archive
Lightning sparks around 100 fires in Sou ...
Firefighters have responded to an estimated 100 lightning-caused fires across the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest in southwest Oregon since Sunday. As a result, the U.S. Forest Service is bringing in additional resources, according to a Monday afternoon news release. Fires are also burning in other parts of the state.
The Hendrix fire, which had burned an estimated 170 acres southwest of Ashland as of 3 p.m. Monday, was started by lightning Sunday, according to information from U.S. Forest Service's Facebook page.
Nearby, fires in the Wagner Complex also caused by lightning are burning more than 200 acres.
The Gravel fire, burning 100 acres just 8 miles northwest of Prospect, Oregon, was caused by lightning Sunday, according to Northwest Interagency Coordination Center. The fire was 0 percent contained Monday.
Sunday lightning also started eight new fires in Crater Lake National Park, all a half acre or less in size. The park remains open and visitors are not at risk, according to a Monday evening news release from the park.
Also in southwest Oregon, the Canyon Creek fire is burning about four miles south of Canyonville and is estimated to be around eight acres, according to a news release from Douglas Forest Protective Association. Other small fires are also burning in the southwest region.
The Collawash fire is a 25-acre wildfire discovered Sunday on the Clackamas River Ranger District of the Mt. Hood National Forest. Crews are making progress in building a line around the fire, according to a news release. Fire danger is high across Mt. Hood National Forest, with high temperatures and low humidity providing fires the possibility to grow fast. No closures are in place but visitors should be cautious when driving in the area.
East of Salem, a fire is burning around 27 acres in the southeast corner of Silver Falls State Park. The Silver Creek fire is estimated to be 35 percent contained, according to a Monday afternoon news release. Steep slopes, thick undergrowth and large snags pose challenges for firefighters in the area. No injuries or facility damage have been reported. Smoke was reported Thursday evening and a fire attack was launched Friday, according to the release.
In eastern Oregon, the Currey Canyon fire in Malheur County is 50 percent contained with one residence threatened as of Monday morning. It's burned 3,100 acres so far. Firefighters expect to have it fully contained by Friday.
In Wheeler County, firefighters have contained the Solitude fire, which started July 8 and burned 708 acres near Spray, Oregon.
Source - News archive
What was that strange light in the sky?
Many people overnight reported seeing strange lights in the sky, a phenomenon that has been reported for centuries before, during, and after earthquakes.
Seismologists aren't in agreement about the causes of the hotly-debated phenomenon - called earthquake lights or, sometimes, earthquake lightning.
And, of course, it's not clear whether the lights overnight in New Zealand were the phenomenon, or something else.
One theory suggests dormant electrical charges in rocks are triggered by the stress of the Earth's crust and plate tectonics, transferring the charge to the surface where it appears as light.
Historical reports include globes, or orbs, of glowing light, floating just above the ground or in the sky.
Much like tidal research, it is an area that is notoriously difficult to investigate. Tidal stresses and their effects on the Earth are minute, but measurable, although many seismologists remain unconvinced by theories of "tidally triggered" earthquakes.
With "earthquake light", the phenomenon is also notoriously difficult to observe, study, and measure.
GNS seismologist Caroline Holden said there were anecdotal reports of lights in the sky.
"Unfortunately, we cannot measure this phenomena or its extent with our instruments to provide a clear explanation," she said.
The phenomenon has been documented for centuries.
Hypotheses have suggested the movement of rocks could generate an electric field, others suggest quakes can lead to rocks conducting electromagnetic energy and a subsequent build up of electric charges in the upper atmosphere.
Yet another theory suggests a link between the electric charge, or current, released by the earth ripping and buckling below the surface, and the magnetic properties of rock.
The charge appears as light, so the theory goes.
People reported similar strange lights in the sky during the 2011 Christchurch earthquake.
In 1888, before a large quake around the Hanmer region, a strange glow in the sky was reported by observers.
One recent study documented hundreds of sightings of strange light, glowing, and aurora-like reports, from 1600 to the 19th century.
The study in the Seismological Research Letters suggested a charge builds up in rock inside the Earth's crust and, as it becomes rapidly unstable in a quake, expands outward.
In an earthquake, the electrical charge transfers from below the surface to the surface, or above, depending on the conductivity of the rock - appearing as light.
"When such an intense charge state reaches the Earth's surface and crosses the ground–air interface, it is expected to cause [an electric transmission and breakdown] of the air and, hence, an outburst of light.
"This process is suspected to be responsible for flashes of light coming out of the ground and expanding to considerable heights at the time when seismic waves from a large earthquake pass by."
The study said some seismologists also think the theory could account for other phenomena, such as changes to electrical fields, strange fog, haze, clouds, and low-frequency humming or radio frequency emission.
In the study, the researchers found the light was more often associated with a type of quake in which tectonic plates are wrenched apart, known as a "rift" earthquake
Source - Did you know archive
...that Lightning produces afterglow of ...
Lightning can produce X-rays and gamma radiation. In the past, researchers thought that this phenomenon only lasted for a very short time, about a ten thousandth part of a second. However, the ionizing radiation of lightning appears to shine much longer than presumed: an afterglow of gamma radiation arises, which lasts up to 10,000 times longer. This is demonstrated for the first time by computer simulations of researchers from Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI) in Amsterdam. Their article 'TGF afterglows: a new radiation mechanism from thunderstorms' was published on 22 October 2017 in the scientific journal Geophysical Review Letters. This discovery can provide more insight into how lightning develops.
Terrestrial gamma flashes
‘Terrestrial gamma flashes’ were discovered about two decades ago. When lightning starts, electrons can be accelerated to very high energies, which cause an explosion of gamma radiation when these electrons crash into air molecules: the so-called terrestrial gamma flashes'. Bursts of up to a trillion (‘a billion billion’) gamma particles are measured on the ground, in airplanes and by satellites. However, these measurements are difficult, since these bursts are very focused and only last for a short time, around 0,0001 seconds. There is still much unknown about how these terrestrial gamma flashes arise and what their role is in the development of lightning. The now discovered afterglow helps to study this phenomenon.
Afterglow in all directions
CWI researcher Casper Rutjes explains what happens in the newly discovered radiation mechanism. “The radiation of a terrestrial gamma flash is so strong that nuclear reactions can take place. When the gamma rays hit the atomic nuclei of the air molecules, the protons and neutrons, of which atomic nuclei exist, can be detached. The loose neutrons can wander longer and farther than protons because they don’t have electrical charge. After a while, the neutron is captured by another atomic nucleus, which can again produce gamma radiation. The high energy of the gamma ray flash, which is used in releasing neutrons, is, so to speak, temporarily stored in the released neutrons.” The CWI researchers calculated that in this way an afterglow of new gamma radiation occurs, which lasts for 1,000 to 10,000 times longer than the gamma ray flash itself and which is not focused but radiates into all directions, which facilitates measurements.
The CWI researchers found in the scientific literature hardly any measurements that corresponded to the predictions, because almost no one was done on the right time scale. Researcher Casper Rutjes says: “Recently, our simulations have also been confirmed by experiments. Almost simultaneously, G.S. Bowers et al. of the University of California Santa Cruz, have measured a clear afterglow of gamma ray flashes in Japan, after a lightning bolt struck a wind turbine. That article, ‘Gamma-ray signatures of neutrons from a terrestrial gamma-ray flash’, also appeared now in the scientific journal Geophysical Review Letters.
About the radiation risk Rutjes says: “The chance of being hit directly by a terrestrial gamma ray flash is very small. If someone in a plane is hit directly by such a narrow terrestrial gamma ray flash, this person will receive a radiation dose approximately equal to 400 times an X-ray picture (30 mSv). The afterglow that we discovered radiates into all directions, increasing the chance that a plane flying above a thunderstorm is hit, but fortunately, that radiation is much weaker. The radiation dose of the afterglow after lightning is not dangerous: less than passengers already receive through background radiation when they fly for an hour.”
The research was conducted by Casper Rutjes, Gabriel Diniz, Ivan Ferreira and Ute Ebert from Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI) in Amsterdam, and it was funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO).
Source - Did you know archive
Thunderstorm24.com is devoted to thunderstorm and lightning around the European Continent. It offers info and news along with nowcasts and forecasts of convection and lightning. The site is under continuous development, aiming to continuous improvement. To do so, we would greatly appreciate comments and propositions that could help us level up our services.