In order to understand the central theme of these pictures, visualize the state of the surrounding atmosphere just prior to a lightning strike. There is a large electrical potential that is building up in an air mass. When that charge gets strong enough it discharges to a place of different potential. If the two places are far removed, and the voltage and charge are large enough, then a visible stroke is created followed by thunder. This is the standard lightning phenomenon.
If the strong voltage charge is accumulated in an air mass close to a discharge point such as might happen in or near a tornado or in a violent thunderstorm, then all of that energy can collapse to the discharge point such as a metal pole or power line. When this happens the sudden ionization may produce a bright flash of light unlike a lightning bolt.
This is what is happening in the first picture above. It is a prime example of what I am calling "Flash Lightning". It is an electrical discharge from surrounding air to what appears to be a lamppost.
The "Flash Lightning" looks somewhat like an explosion. But it is not an explosion and neither is it the arching of high voltage power lines. In those two cases sparks and debris are produced and travel from the source in more uneven curved trajectories as in a fireworks display. Also the sparks do not collapse directly back to the originating point, but fall downward due to gravity.
A tornado is a powerful generator of electrical energy. As a tornado sweeps through areas of manmade construction many flashes may be seen along with standard lightning. Occasionally, a flash within the core of the tornado lights up the whole thing.
Some of the evidence within my web site is tornado generated. I include the tornado core flash in my definition of "Flash lightning" since it is a volumetric illumination. There are some examples presented herein.
xxxxxxxxxxxxxMy links are to pictures of lightning, which have characteristics like the "Flash lightning" phenomenon. A bolt of lightning transfers a great amount of energy from one point to another in an instant. Except for striking a metal object, all of that energy cannot come from one point, but must be distributed over a volume. Sometimes this volume of ionized air emits light. My links show examples of "Flash Lightning" at the top and bottom of lightning strikes. One example of an outstanding phenomenon is the horizontal strike. It consists of a central voluminous flash on one end of the energy transfer and spider lightning on the other, sort of a dumbbell shape. Other examples show just the tip of a flash protruding from a cloud, the vertical counterpart to the above.
I became interested in this when something happened on the way to work in a thunderstorm.
A clap of thunder occurred in back of me and at that time I saw a flash above and in front of me which I attributed to a possible exploding transformer. When I arrived at the spot there was no transformer, only power lines on a tall metal pole. Since then I have been on the lookout for similar events and have found plenty. There was a rash of them on the news footage of tornadoes in the last two years.
If you have pictures of similar events, or "Ball Lightning", or other strange atmospheric phenomena please direct my attention to them. I would like some applicable links. If you have some animations, that would really be nice.
I want your supporting evidence concerning these flashes. Please e-mail me your info.
11) Blue Flash
12) Here is a popular site: The Strike: In frames 2,6,10,15,17, and 20 ionized air appears to be substituting for the lightning.
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