Ball Lightning

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GregGleason

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I have been fascinated with aerial phenonema. Ball lightening is one of those things that seems to defy the laws of physics. And is a little unsettling.

[YOUTUBE]hF-kuB9pBT0[/YOUTUBE]

Greg
 
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stealth6

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Nice video. But I'm not sure that it is technically "ball lightning", rather it seems to be "normal" lightning that is lighting up clouds.

My understanding of actual "ball lightning" is that it doesn't just flash - it actual glows/burns/fires/whatever for at least a few seconds at a time, up to a minute or so. It's also quite rare. I'm no expert, and could very easily be wrong, but there it is.

Either way, pretty much all lightning is dang cool in my book,
s6
 

rharshberger

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Nice video. But I'm not sure that it is technically "ball lightning", rather it seems to be "normal" lightning that is lighting up clouds.

My understanding of actual "ball lightning" is that it doesn't just flash - it actual glows/burns/fires/whatever for at least a few seconds at a time, up to a minute or so. It's also quite rare. I'm no expert, and could very easily be wrong, but there it is.

Either way, pretty much all lightning is dang cool in my book,
s6

Lightning is cool except when you live in the Eastern Washington Tinder Box, we currently have 37 fires burning here and 3 cities have been evacuated all east of the Cascade mountains.
 

423yjl

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At about 35 seconds in , what appears to be ball lightning comes out of the clouds
 

Zebedee

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From the title I was expecting something about bleaching your groin - kinda relieved.
 

GregGleason

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Nice video. But I'm not sure that it is technically "ball lightning", rather it seems to be "normal" lightning that is lighting up clouds.

My understanding of actual "ball lightning" is that it doesn't just flash - it actual glows/burns/fires/whatever for at least a few seconds at a time, up to a minute or so. It's also quite rare. I'm no expert, and could very easily be wrong, but there it is.

Either way, pretty much all lightning is dang cool in my book,
s6
It's not right at the beginning, it occurs at about 0:36 or 0:37 seconds as a bright object seen falling from the clouds on right half of the video.

Greg
 

Oldschool77

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I had to watch it twice to see what I really saw! seen? sawed? ? 6 it's :36 sec. into the video
 

watermelonman

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I am not familiar with this. Is the ball the relatively tiny disconnected light that moves more slowly toward the horizon at 37 seconds?
 

GregGleason

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I am not familiar with this. Is the ball the relatively tiny disconnected light that moves more slowly toward the horizon at 37 seconds?
Yes. Ball lightening is extremely rare. I've seen "standard" lightening countless times, but have never seen this type.

This from nature.com

https://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v224/n5222/abs/224895a0.html

THIS communication records the observation of ball lightning in unusual circumstances. I was seated near the front of the passenger cabin of an all-metal airliner (Eastern Airlines Flight EA 539) on a late night flight from New York to Washington. The aircraft encountered an electrical storm during which it was enveloped in a sudden bright and loud electrical discharge (0005 h EST, March 19, 1963). Some seconds after this a glowing sphere a little more than 20 cm in diameter emerged from the pilot's cabin and passed down the aisle of the aircraft approximately 50 cm from me, maintaining the same height and course for the whole distance over which it could be observed.
Greg
 

boomtube-mk2

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Have you ever seen “Blue sky lightning”?
Literally a bolt of lightning coming down out of a cloudless clear blue sky.

Or how about “Thunder snow”?
White snow drifting down all around you accompanied by thunder and lightning.
It’s like being inside a flashbulb when it goes off.
 

burkefj

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If you watch it in slow motion you can see a dark shape coming from high up in the clouds coming straight down, then lighting up about halfway down....
 

boomtube-mk2

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If you watch it in slow motion you can see a dark shape coming from high up in the clouds coming straight down, then lighting up about halfway down....
Maybe somebody was out in the storm launching High Power and it didn’t end well.
 

Oldschool77

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''Thunder Snow'' a phenomenon the wife had never experienced until several years ago. Conditions were just right that year, it boomed a lot during that snowstorm. Oh and transformer/power lines arcing in the winter. That happened in my moms back yard once with me standing there. Scary.
 

GregGleason

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ballistic_trep

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Have you ever seen “Blue sky lightning”?
Literally a bolt of lightning coming down out of a cloudless clear blue sky.

Or how about “Thunder snow”?
White snow drifting down all around you accompanied by thunder and lightning.
It’s like being inside a flashbulb when it goes off.
I've experienced thunder and lightning during a snowstorm twice in the past 30yrs or so.....pretty freaky phenomenon!
 

marcusSRG

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Awesome video!! Thanks for sharing.

Have you ever seen “Blue sky lightning”?
Literally a bolt of lightning coming down out of a cloudless clear blue sky.

Or how about “Thunder snow”?
White snow drifting down all around you accompanied by thunder and lightning.
It’s like being inside a flashbulb when it goes off.
In the case of blue sky lighning, there is a storm associated with it. It's just that it's very far away and appears to come from blue sky. Definitely a freak event.

I've experienced thundersnow, it's crazy to see because it's so unexpected. But it occurs in the same way regular lightning and thunder do. It's just rare because you don't often get strong updrafts and cumulonimbus clouds (which are major lightning-producing factors) like that with snow storms.

Don't forget about sprites, elves and blue jets - rare upper atmostphere lightning phenomena:

https://www.weather.com/news/news/transient-luminous-events-mysteries-sky-20130731
 
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Screaminhelo

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I was ready to dismiss this video as something else mistaken for ball lightining, until I did some research.

I have personally been involved in a ball lightning "strike" that was much more like what folks imagine when they hear of this phenomenon. We were towing an aircraft when a glowing ball about 10' a Ross bounced across the ground and right into the aircraft and tow crew. We did feel a minor shock but were unharmed. Some of the avionics were a different story. A handful of instruments were immediately zapped and the aircraft was possessed for about 3 months.

My research showed me that ball lightning is much more than what I had thought. Thanks for posting and sparking my curiosity.
 

SAC of MMMSClub

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I have seen ball lightning up close and scary! lightning hit the mountain our house was built on/into(I think it hit the well casing), we were in the family room in the basement and there was flash and sound at same time, almost simultaneously a ball of electricity left the interface where the well water pipe came into basement. It floated from the water pump controller about 4 feet in the air across the basement to the breaker box and was gone. Thankfully we were at the other end of the basement and no one was hurt. Strange as it was not a flash arc, but a ball(basket ball size) and it was plasma, boiling and was snapping and crackling as it floated rather slowly as time stopped for us at the other end of the basement. Just glad no one was in that side of the basement!
 

mpitfield

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I believe I recall a story about what was described as ball lightening traveling down the isle of an air-liner.
 

Screaminhelo

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When we got hit on the flightline, I remember thinking that it would have made an awesome plasma globe. The scary thing was that this ball was about 8' in diameter. Fortunately this phenomena seems to be relatively low energy and the people that got 'hit' received what felt like a mild shock...over most of their body. Some of the electrical components went a bit wonky after that but nothing got fried by high energy.

After this experience, I don't live in fear of ball lightning, but I am still not going to take it lightly. In my recent reading, it seems that it has just enough energy to maintain a plasma for a short time and dissipates rather quickly.
 

TSMILLER

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I’ve seen it one time, walking home from school shortly after a storm, glanced up just as the thing came from the clouds, plopped onto a power line and followed it to the next pole, dropped down the pole and disappeared about shoulder level. This was southern Idaho.
I told my dad about it, ( I was around 12/13 and never heard or seen anything like it before.)
He said he had seen it several times down at the ranch in New Mexico.
Pretty cool stuff, if you’re lucky enough to catch it. Figuratively speaking.
 
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