California Wildfires and the Lightning Siege: How Unusual Is It?

California is burning and smoke has covered the northern half of the state and is spreading across the U.S. Most of the fires were started by a huge “lightning siege” that started on August 15th. How unusual was this massive lightning event? That question will be answered below.

A lightning barrage puts the western U.S. on fire

During the last few days, hundreds of fires have been ignited by an extraordinarily unusual barrage of thousands of lightning strikes over the western U.S. Major fires are burning all over California and dense smoke has spread across the region (see below). The city of Vacaville is being engulfed in flames and air quality is rapidly degrading.

Curious claim – lightning erodes mountains

From the University of the Witwatersrand New evidence on lightning strikes By Kanina Foss Lightning strikes causing rocks to explode have for the first time been shown to play a huge role in shaping mountain landscapes in southern Africa, debunking previous assumptions that angular rock formations were necessarily caused by cold temperatures, and proving that…

Making ball lightning

From the American Chemical Society New insights into the 1-in-a-million lightning called ‘ball lightning’ One of the rare scientific reports on the rarest form of lightning — ball lightning — describes better ways of producing this mysterious phenomenon under the modern laboratory conditions needed to explain it. The new study on a phenomenon that puzzled…

China's big jet – not the passenger kind

From the Science China Press Is there gigantic jet event in middle latitude region in mainland China? When talking about lightning, appearances of different lightning which occur along with thunderstorms will emerge in the minds of the people and these lightning occur in the troposphere. However, in addition to lightning in the troposphere, there are…

Wildest lightning strike I've ever seen

Why being in a car during a lightning storm is the safest place to be As watcher of weather, both as as a one-time storm chaser as well as a person who gets sent email about weather of all kinds, I’ll have to say I’ve never seen anything like this video.  The National Weather Service…