8500 Homes Without Power Following Light ...

8500 Homes Without Power Following Lightning Strikes in Australia

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 ...

Lightning sparks around 100 fires in Southwest Oregon, other wildfires continue to burn

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

A teenage girl survived a terrifying lig ...

A teenage girl survived a terrifying lightning strike, saved by her iPod wire!

A teenage girl survived a terrifying lightning strike after she was saved by the wire of her iPod. Schoolgirl Sophie Frost and her boyfriend Mason Billington, both 14, stopped to shelter under a tree when a storm struck as they were walking near their homes. They were struck by a lightning but survived! Doctors believe Sophie survived the 300,000-volt surge only because it travelled through the gadget’s wire, diverting it away from her vital organs.
Source - Did you know archive

How Hot Is Lightning?

Lightning is one of the most destructive forces in nature. But for all the folklore and legends amassed over human history on lightning, we know surprisingly little about the inner workings of this powerful phenomenon, including something as simple as how the current that flows through a thunder-inducing flash is related to the temperature of the strike. "The basic physics of lightning, such as lightning initiation and lightning propagation, is not fully understood at this point," said Robert Moore, a lightning researcher from University of Florida in Gainesville. "We know the basics, but not the details. So when anybody makes headway, it is major news." Lightning causes more than $5 billion in damages every year in the U.S., as well as more fatalities than hurricanes. "A direct hit from a lightning strike can melt a power cable or start a forest fire, where the amount of heat from the lightning plays a major role," said Xiangchao Li, a scientist from China who specializes in lightning research. Li and his team discovered a mathematical relationship between the current intensity and the temperature inside lightning. Their result was published last month in the journal Scientific Reports. Although there are approximately 100,000 lightning strikes on Earth every single day, the randomness of the occurrences makes it difficult for scientists to study them in an effective or systematic way. So until Thor, the Norse god of lightning as well as other meteorological events, joins a lightning research team, scientists are left to their own devices. Luckily such a device does exist. Known as an impulse current generator system, the device can create artificial lightning with currents up to tens of thousands of amperes. For perspective, a household or automotive fuse is usually rated well below a hundred amperes, and an electric current of just a few amperes can easily kill you. A natural lightning strike typically carries around 20-30,000 amperes of current. Certainly there are other factors such as size and setting of natural lightning that cannot be replicated in a laboratory, but just in terms of sheer current output, the lightning generated by the device can really give Thor a run for his money. By using their artificial lightning system, Li and his team were able to dial up lightning strikes at will, with currents between 5,000 to 50,000 amperes. This resulted in artificial lightning strikes with temperatures as high as 17,000 F, twice as hot as the surface of the Sun. This creates a new problem -- at such high temperatures, a normal thermometer would explode. And even if it didn't, it wouldn't react quickly enough to register the temperature of the lightning strike. Fortunately, there is "light" in "lightning." Li and his team were able to record the lightning's temperature within a millisecond by measuring the intensity of the light at various wavelengths. After striking lightning at the same place over and over again, they concluded that the relationship between the current and temperature of lightning is a highly logarithmic one, meaning that the temperature difference between lightning strikes with 1,000 and 10,000 amperes is similar to those with 10,000 and 100,000 amperes. This result provides solid evidence for previous theoretical predictions that lacked the support of data. "The next step would be to compare with measurements from rocket triggered lightning, or natural lightning, which can be done throughout the U.S. or China," Moore suggested. That's right, rocket-triggered lightning. Essentially a glorified version of Benjamin Franklin's wired kite, scientists today have ways to siphon natural lightning from the sky by launching an electrically grounded rocket, as shown in the video below. With a better understanding of the physics of lightning, scientists can help engineers to improve current protocols and infrastructures to better deal with lightning -- from weather warning systems to the design of power grids. Perhaps we can one day limit the power of Thor to only smiting Loki on the silver screen.
Source - Did you know archive

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