Tag Archives: lightning

The Sky Right Now

As is typical for Edmonton weather, we have another thunderstorm. The forecast says thunderstorms all day until about 11 pm. This is the sky right now:

Nice, huh? The clouds are behaving like a very slow boil. They’re moving around a bit, but slowly. It’s interesting to look at, but since it’s started raining, it’s hard to see how the clouds really look.

Well, tomorrow is Canada Day, and we’re hoping to see some fireworks. Thankfully, the forecast is good for tomorrow. But it’s the only good day over the next six days. Every other day is expected to be stormy.

It’s a good thing my daughter now says she likes thunderstorms. She’s not afraid during the day.

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We Had a Great Thunderstorm, My Daughter Disagrees

Watch this video. Watch it all the way through. There’s a surprise ending you may enjoy.

It was an interesting night. She refused to go into her bedroom or the master bathroom. She could see lightning. She fell asleep on our bed with my arms around her and her face buried in my chest. She was scared!

Funny thing that I didn’t mention is that my mom was sitting near the window, and my wife told my daughter that she was a superhero because she’s close to the window. My daughter said she can’t be a superhero. Only Daddy is a superhero.

I guess I’m her superhero.

I hope you enjoyed the video. Comments are always welcome!

I Love Weather

As a Canadian, I love to talk about weather.  I guess it’s because it’s so changeable in Canada.  Here in Japan, it tends to be more stable.  Summer days are hot, sunny, and humid.  Winter days are sunny and cool.  But spring and fall can bring rain with some instability.  September tends to be quite stormy with typhoons coming through (one coming next week).  Last Saturday, we had quite the storm. Take a look.  Keep watching, especially to the second half of the video.  I was very surprised about what happened.

I love a good thunderstorm.  It’s one of my favourite kinds of weather.  What kind of weather do you like?

Encyclopedia Entry #2 – Ball Lightning

Ball lightning is a mysterious phenomenon that occurs during a thunderstorm, and is an electrical discharge that lasts longer than regular lightning.  However, it’s quite rare and very few recorded instances of it are available.  In July 2012, scientists from Northwest Normal University in Lanzhou, China, recorded the spectrum of ball lightning, and published their results in January 2014.

Ball lightning spectrum.  File is public domain, available at Wikipedia.
Ball lightning spectrum. File is public domain, available at Wikipedia.

5 Interesting Facts

1. The ball lightning observed in China was seen from 900 metres away, and 1.64 seconds of video of the lightning was recorded.  The ball lightning traveled horizontally at a speed of 8.6 m/s. Source is here.

2. The spectrum revealed that it contained neutral silicon, calcium, iron, nitrogen, and oxygen.  Regular lightning’s spectrum reveals ionized nitrogen.

3. Ball lightning is mysterious.  Although it has been observed, it’s rarely been observed naturally in a setting where scientists can take readings.  However, there are many hypotheses about the cause of ball lightning.  There is no consensus yet.

4. The characteristics of observed ball lightning is quite varied.  There are different colours, shapes, and sizes.  Many are observed to be rotating, but few are observed to give off heat.  They tend to be attracted to conducting metals.  They often appear at the same time as cloud-to-ground lightning.  They’ve also been known to appear in buildings, aircraft, and pass through walls with no damage. Read all about it here in a New Scientist article.

5. R. C. Jennison of the Electronics Laboratory at the University of Kent observed ball lightning traveling through the aircraft he was in.  During a storm, the aircraft was struck by lightning, and a few seconds later, a 20cm diameter sphere of ball lightning floated down the aircraft and passed within 50cm of him.  Read his account here.

For more information, check the Wikipedia article.