Storm Chasers ⛈

Many of us feel connected to storms and overall stormy weather. I wanted to create a thread where we can share our weather pictures!


I’ll start!

These were taken in July in front of my house.


Ooohhh! I miss lighting and thunderstorms.

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It’s one of my favorite things about living in Florida. We should be having more storms later this week. There are a few tropical disturbances we’re watching, too, out in the Atlantic.

Even if they don’t result in hurricanes for us, chances are they’ll bring some good storms to our area.

I wanted to mention that there’s a great real-time map for tracking lightning strikes-

Real time, zoomable maps for the whole world, aside from Antarctica.

Of course, if a storm is within twenty miles, shut off everything connected to your outlets, unless you’ve got a lightning induced strike circuit breaker and a lot of insurance on your electronics. Stay out of the water. Open the blinds, sit down, and read a book or listen to a battery powered radio or your cell phone and enjoy the free show.

I have loved thunderstorms since I was about four years old, as I grew up in Kansas and still remember the Tornado sirens blaring at all hours. I learned to track them on an analog television as a kid, which you can still do if your tv has an atsc tuner, rather than digital tuner. Ask me if you are interested.

You can use a portable battery powered AM radio with a speaker (never, ever use headsets or earbuds) by turning to a vacant spot on the dial (I like the bottom, around 530 KHz) and turn the volume down until you can just hear a single shot of lightning as a crash.

If you have a safe and clear view of the sky and can see the flash along with the radio crash, you can determine how far away the lightning is by counting the seconds until you hear the thunder from that lighting strike and dividing that number by five. Sound travels at 1090 feet per second. Five seconds is about a mile.

Did you know that lightning strikes produce gamma rays that can be seen by satellites from orbit? Or that lightning has an upper-atmosphere component called sprites? If you’d like a really good explanation of all of this with amazing video, go to the Pecos Hank Lightning Channel on YouTube. He’s a storm chaser who has good survival instincts, good camera work and has a handle on the science.

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Oh, this is cool! We use something similar during storms here when we want to see how close the lightning is to us. It’s really cool to see - and sometimes it’s scary to see that the lightning strike was just down the street from me :laughing:

This is exactly what we do. My daughter loves to watch the lightning and when she was much younger, she used to call them The Big Lights and we would watch them from a safe distance.

When I was a kid, my dad used to get us up during a thunderstorm so we could stand out by the garage to watch – I’ll admit, this was most definitely not from a safe distance :joy: but it’s one of my fondest memories.

I haven’t tried this yet but I remember you telling me about it before. I’m going to do this during the summer because that’s when we get most of our lightning here. We have our portable AM/FM radio in the kitchen for those times when we lose power and we need to know what’s going on.

I actually didn’t know this! I’ll have to look up that channel - thank you for the recommendation!