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(Vimeo)   And now, the rarely captured phenomena of upward lightning. Take THAT, thunderclouds   (vimeo.com) divider line 25
    More: Cool, Rapid City  
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6349 clicks; posted to Video » on 24 Jul 2012 at 12:59 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-07-24 10:48:54 AM
If I had any videoediting skills at all, I'd replace that tower array with Voldemort.
 
2012-07-24 10:56:19 AM
All lightning strikes upward.
 
2012-07-24 10:57:25 AM

gopher321: All lightning strikes upward.

 
2012-07-24 11:09:34 AM
I'd like to see that in real time as a comparison. Some of the branches persisted fairly long, but I'm sure that they weren't really that persistent.

Assuming 7,207 fps replayed at 23 fps, a 57 second movie would be about 0.18 sec in real time.
 
2012-07-24 11:37:11 AM

gopher321: All lightning strikes upward.


Not exactly. It kinda starts in the middle.
 
2012-07-24 12:08:54 PM
That was groovy.

Reminds me of one of those plasma ball light thingees. It just needs a white light unicorn poster and some sweet one note guitar solos with copters flying through my headphones to completely put it into LaserFloyd territory.
 
2012-07-24 12:26:12 PM

unyon: gopher321: All lightning strikes upward.

Not exactly. It kinda starts in the middle.


I thought there was almost always a first strike up and then a much more visible down.
 
2012-07-24 01:31:51 PM
gopher321:
All lightning strikes upward.

Nope.

There's normal lightning, which is cloud-towards-ground or cloud-to-cloud (more or less).

Then there's "positive" lightning, which is ground-to-cloud (also more or less).

Positive lightning can be NASTY - as much as ten times the current flow of normal lightning. Positive lightning ios usually the one that hits the ground and does the real damage.

(Lightning is much, much more complicated than most people think - there's "stepped leaders" and such - way too much to put in a Fark comment)
 
2012-07-24 01:44:40 PM

gopher321: All lightning strikes upward.


*Some* lightning strikes propagate upward; some lightning strikes propagate downward. Of the lightning strikes between the cloud and the ground, about 90% are what we call negative cloud-to-ground, 5% are positive cloud-to-ground, 3% are upward positive ground-to-cloud, and ~2% are upward negative ground-to-cloud. Upward-directed lightning strikes tend to initiate off of tall pointed objects like the antenna towers in the video. In most cloud-to-ground lightning strikes, the stepped leader coming down from the charge reservoir in the cloud meets with a streamer coming up from the charge reservoir at the ground. When the two channels meet, a massive charge transfer occurs, which we see as a lightning strike. Subsequent dark leaders and return strokes can occur (we see these as "pulses" in the lightning flash) as well.

The positive cloud-to-ground strikes tend to transfer *much* more charge, have much higher current, and tend to strike away from a storm. These are the strikes that tend, proportionally, to cause more wildfires.

Lightning can initiate "in the middle" as well from objects such as airplanes (electron runaway breakdown occurs both upward and downward simultaneously. Pretty neat stuff.

/ Meteorologist
 
2012-07-24 01:50:20 PM

WxGuy1: gopher321: All lightning strikes upward.

*Some* lightning strikes propagate upward; some lightning strikes propagate downward. Of the lightning strikes between the cloud and the ground, about 90% are what we call negative cloud-to-ground, 5% are positive cloud-to-ground, 3% are upward positive ground-to-cloud, and ~2% are upward negative ground-to-cloud. Upward-directed lightning strikes tend to initiate off of tall pointed objects like the antenna towers in the video. In most cloud-to-ground lightning strikes, the stepped leader coming down from the charge reservoir in the cloud meets with a streamer coming up from the charge reservoir at the ground. When the two channels meet, a massive charge transfer occurs, which we see as a lightning strike. Subsequent dark leaders and return strokes can occur (we see these as "pulses" in the lightning flash) as well.

The positive cloud-to-ground strikes tend to transfer *much* more charge, have much higher current, and tend to strike away from a storm. These are the strikes that tend, proportionally, to cause more wildfires.

Lightning can initiate "in the middle" as well from objects such as airplanes (electron runaway breakdown occurs both upward and downward simultaneously. Pretty neat stuff.

/ Meteorologist


I'll always defer to a meteorologist as I am just a trained sky warn weather spotter/ham radio operator. That said I thought the opposite charge rising from the ground to meet the stepped leader had a name. I used to know what it was but now can't recall. Do you know the technical name for the rising opposite charge that the leaders "pulls" up from the ground? I didn't think it was a streamer, but as I stated previously I don't really know.
 
2012-07-24 01:52:46 PM
Oy -- "dark leaders" should be "dart leaders". If you like watching very high frame-rate videos of lightning, look for videos from ZTResearch on YouTube or elsewhere. He used to have a bunch of different videos available on YouTube, but now I can only see a couple of his lightning vids there. There's some pretty awesome stuff that occurs on time scales much, much shorter than what we can recognize with our eyes (e.g. thousands of electrical "blips" that last 0.0001 s, etc.). Here's one of my favorites that highlights the very complex nature of some cloud-to-ground strikes (notice the tremendous branching that occurs before one of the stepped leader branches meets up with a streamer from the ground).
 
2012-07-24 02:22:40 PM

blankwhiteboard: WxGuy1: gopher321: All lightning strikes upward.

*Some* lightning strikes propagate upward; some lightning strikes propagate downward. Of the lightning strikes between the cloud and the ground, about 90% are what we call negative cloud-to-ground, 5% are positive cloud-to-ground, 3% are upward positive ground-to-cloud, and ~2% are upward negative ground-to-cloud. Upward-directed lightning strikes tend to initiate off of tall pointed objects like the antenna towers in the video. In most cloud-to-ground lightning strikes, the stepped leader coming down from the charge reservoir in the cloud meets with a streamer coming up from the charge reservoir at the ground. When the two channels meet, a massive charge transfer occurs, which we see as a lightning strike. Subsequent dark leaders and return strokes can occur (we see these as "pulses" in the lightning flash) as well.

The positive cloud-to-ground strikes tend to transfer *much* more charge, have much higher current, and tend to strike away from a storm. These are the strikes that tend, proportionally, to cause more wildfires.

Lightning can initiate "in the middle" as well from objects such as airplanes (electron runaway breakdown occurs both upward and downward simultaneously. Pretty neat stuff.

/ Meteorologist

I'll always defer to a meteorologist as I am just a trained sky warn weather spotter/ham radio operator. That said I thought the opposite charge rising from the ground to meet the stepped leader had a name. I used to know what it was but now can't recall. Do you know the technical name for the rising opposite charge that the leaders "pulls" up from the ground? I didn't think it was a streamer, but as I stated previously I don't really know.


Typically those are called "streamers". There's a relatively "famous" picture of a failed streamer HERE -- the streamer is the dim thing extending upward from the telephone/power pole on the left side of the image. There's also another failed streamer coming upward from the tree to the immediate left of the actual lightning channel. For some reason, the stepped leader coming down from the cloud/charge reservoir above met up one of the streamers coming up from the tree instead of the streamer from the telephone/power pole on the left. This happens so quickly you aren't going to see the streamers, but you'll certainly see the return stroke when the streamer meets with the stepped leader.

Lightning is pretty fascinating stuff, IMO. Typical electric fields observed in thunderstorms are on the order of ~150 kV/m (as high as 700-750 kV/m observed). The oddity is that dieletric breakdown of dry air requires ~3000 kV/m, and the dielectric breakdown of cloudy/moist air requires ~1000 kV/m. Why we've only observed 150 kV/m near lightning strikes, well below the dielectric breakdown of air, yet still seen the results of breakdown is a big unknown at this time. One theory is that relativistic runaway electron avalanche occurs when cosmic rays collide with and accelerate ions in an environment of strong electric fields. Or, there's a simpler explanation -- we just haven't been able to collect measurements close enough to where the actual lightning channels initiate (usually done with electric field meters attached to weather balloons released into and around thunderstorms). There's a lot about lightning initiation that we don't know...
 
2012-07-24 03:06:22 PM

kingoomieiii: gopher321: All lightning strikes upward.


clearly whoever made the video and who ever posted the link and made up the headline lives where there is no lightning.

WxGuy1 is overly technical, correct and a good explanation. The simple explanation is that it goes up and down and meets in the middle unless it's lateral. It's NOT however rare.
 
2012-07-24 04:17:40 PM

Donnchadha: I'd like to see that in real time as a comparison. Some of the branches persisted fairly long, but I'm sure that they weren't really that persistent.

Assuming 7,207 fps replayed at 23 fps, a 57 second movie would be about 0.18 sec in real time.


From the frame counter in the lower left, they showed 1636 frames (-5918 to -4283, inclusive) So 0.229 seconds.

--Carlos V.
 
2012-07-24 10:06:40 PM
ground-to-cloud lighting is always fatal.

In a cloud-to-ground stroke, a lot of the energy can miss you, strike other places as branches off the main charge.

But in a ground-to-cloud, the whole charge travels through you.
 
2012-07-24 10:37:19 PM
fark you, thunder.
 
2012-07-24 11:19:03 PM

WxGuy1: gopher321: All lightning strikes upward.

*Some* lightning strikes propagate upward; some lightning strikes propagate downward. Of the lightning strikes between the cloud and the ground, about 90% are what we call negative cloud-to-ground, 5% are positive cloud-to-ground, 3% are upward positive ground-to-cloud, and ~2% are upward negative ground-to-cloud. Upward-directed lightning strikes tend to initiate off of tall pointed objects like the antenna towers in the video. In most cloud-to-ground lightning strikes, the stepped leader coming down from the charge reservoir in the cloud meets with a streamer coming up from the charge reservoir at the ground. When the two channels meet, a massive charge transfer occurs, which we see as a lightning strike. Subsequent dark leaders and return strokes can occur (we see these as "pulses" in the lightning flash) as well.

The positive cloud-to-ground strikes tend to transfer *much* more charge, have much higher current, and tend to strike away from a storm. These are the strikes that tend, proportionally, to cause more wildfires.

Lightning can initiate "in the middle" as well from objects such as airplanes (electron runaway breakdown occurs both upward and downward simultaneously. Pretty neat stuff.

/ Meteorologist


If I hear one more meteorologist describe lightning as "cloud to ground lightning" I'm gonna dye my hair bright red.

\seriously, everytime I hear that I yell at the screen "as opposed to basement to linen closet lightning, right !!??"
\\doesn't matter which f'ing way it goes
\\\TV Engineer
 
2012-07-25 12:31:33 AM
FARK YOU, THUNDER!

tvfilmnews.com

YOU CAN SUCK MY DICK!
 
2012-07-25 04:10:05 AM
Headline should read "rarely captured phenomenon, because "lightning" is a singular noun.
 
2012-07-25 09:18:30 AM

slotz: Headline should read "rarely captured phenomenon, because "lightning" is a singular noun.


I agree that it should have read 'phenomenon,' but not because lightning is a singular noun. Lightning is a mass noun, like 'water'. We refer to water in a singular sense when we mean it nonspecifically, the same way we do lighting. (E.g., "The lighting is scaring the dog.") But we go out of our way to clarify any reference to an individual stroke as such. So it's singular in the sense that the plural is also referred to in the singular (unless referring to multiple individual strokes), but it's not singular in the same sense as discrete objects such as books and tables. For that, we use 'lightning stroke.'
 
2012-07-25 03:09:11 PM
 
2012-07-25 04:28:33 PM

Sylvia_Bandersnatch: slotz: Headline should read "rarely captured phenomenon, because "lightning" is a singular noun.

I agree that it should have read 'phenomenon,' but not because lightning is a singular noun. Lightning is a mass noun, like 'water'. We refer to water in a singular sense when we mean it nonspecifically, the same way we do lighting. (E.g., "The lighting is scaring the dog.") But we go out of our way to clarify any reference to an individual stroke as such. So it's singular in the sense that the plural is also referred to in the singular (unless referring to multiple individual strokes), but it's not singular in the same sense as discrete objects such as books and tables. For that, we use 'lightning stroke.'


You're right. I should have said it's handled as if it was singular. Thank you.
 
2012-07-26 06:36:31 AM

Sylvia_Bandersnatch: "The lighting is scaring the dog."


Try using a softer bulb :)
 
2012-07-26 06:42:29 AM
Since I was a kid I've daydreamed of somehow capturing the energy of lightning. Best idea I've been able to come up with is a copper rod stuck in the middle of a tall slender tower of water and hoping the lightning strike will heat the water enough to generate steam. I admit it's not much of an idea.

/Or if you could use the magnetic force to energize a coil and somehow pull power out of that.
//Or if I could shoot lightning shoot out of my ass that would be a pretty bad-ass superpower (no pun intended)
 
2012-07-27 08:21:31 AM

relaxitsjustme: Since I was a kid I've daydreamed of somehow capturing the energy of lightning.


Holy crap, I was thinking the same thing recently! I'd have some sort of battery which could charge instantly when the lightning strike hit it.

We should work together (but I don't want to see your ass... unless you're a chick)
 
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