8 August 2011
Mark Spencer (one of my fellow board members at Sc-Quest science museum) was flying back from Jackson, MS on August 3rd when he captured this amazing video. The flash rate in this storm is incredible, and it’s likely a severe storm. These cells produced 70 mph winds across North Alabama later on that produced extensive damage and power outages.
The video was taken with night vision cameras and it’s good to remember that most of the flashes were cloud to cloud and not cloud to ground. Only cloud to ground flashes are picked up on most lightning detection systems. We still have a long way to go to understand how to predict dangerous lightning and use it to forecast severe storm and perhaps even tornado events.