Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Nature puts on a lightning show, severe weather still a no-go!


The dark clouds grew in the West before sunset on the southside of Lafayette as you see above. There were several storm reports in Illinois and Missouri during the day and the evening of nickel to quarter size hail and couple wind gusts near 60 mph. But once again we would dodge the severe weather. The timing was on our side yet again. Sometimes in life you can get lucky and the same is true with our weather. This line of thunderstorms would not arrive here in Lafayette until after 11 p.m. and with the loss of daytime heating we would be left with mainly lightning and a few brief, heavy downpours. But what a show it was! Here is what it looked like just after 1 a.m. on your lightning tracker.

There were over 1,200 lightning strikes through much of Indiana and Illinois. What was impressive was the in-cloud lightning across the Lafayette area. There was plenty of sheet lightning that lit the clouds up giving you a brilliant glimpse of their towering silhouettes against a dark sky. Ice crystals collided in our 30,000 foot thunderstorms inducing a big enough charge for a few cloud to ground lightning strikes that shook our station here at WLFI and many area homes. It brought back memories of a not so distant earthquake we had a few weeks ago. I became not only the area meteorologist but psychologist by calming a few folks down when they called the station. When I got home I found a bed full of kids and my wife and dog. It comes with the territory of being a meteorologist. Nature is certainly the one in control!

The good news is we did not have any severe weather last night, but we need to keep our eyes to the sky on our Wednesday afternoon. Notice we have been too lucky so far this year with no severe weather days to speak of. May usually brings at least one severe thunderstorm a week and sometimes more. If our cold front slows down just a bit today we will have to worry about isolated damaging wind gusts and hail. The prime time for strong storms would be late morning and early afternoon. The Storm Prediction Center does not have our area in a risk for severe weather, but over the past couple weeks there has been severe weather around the country that was not included in a risk area. This is not the time of year to write anything off. We will keep you posted. Since we were talking about the incredible lightning around the area, how about the picture below of the Chaiten Volcano in southern Chile. Carlos Gutierrez took this shot of lightning being formed not in a thunderstorm, but in a volcanic eruption, which is believe or not quite common.


I will have more on what causes this phenomenon so make sure to check back. In the meantime have a wonderful day and keep checking back for the latest on Live Doppler 18.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Live Doppler 18 is 2 days behind! Glad it's nothing important. On to weather.com.

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Mike Prangley!!!

Anonymous said...

IS YOUR BIRTHDAY MIKE? ARE YOU GOING TO TELL US YOUR AGE? WELL AGE IS JUST A NUMBER ANYWAY! HOPE YOU HAVE A GREAT ONE! WHAT A GREAT PERSON YOU SEEM TO BE!

RACHAEL IN LAFAYETTE,

BY THE WAY I WAS THE ONE THAT WROTE ON THE BLOG LAST NIGHT, COUNTING, BEFORE I HEARD THE THUNDER. COULDNT GET BACK TO SLEEP SO I SAT AND WATCHED THE BEAUTIFUL LIGHT SHOW, AT TIMES THE LIGTNING GOT A BIT TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT!

Anonymous said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MIKE!!!
I just want to say thanks for keeping us informed on the weather
your great at what you do...

Justin.

Renee said...

ya i had to do some searching last night too, to find a radar since the one on here was behind.I can get very nurvous at night with storms and knowing what to expect keeps me calm.After I found out that it was no big deal, I enjoyed listening to the thunder as I fell asleep.