My subscription to Life expired, but I still have a subscription to Mad.

Monday, July 16, 2007

click, click

Yesterday, an intense thunderstorm blew through Downtown Wolcott in the late afternoon. While I was waiting out the storm in our family room, I heard a loud click-click. My wife also heard the click-click two rooms away in the kitchen. The click-click was followed by a very bright flash and the loudest thunderclap that I have ever remembered hearing.

I remarked to my wife that I think that lightning strike was very close!

I got up out of my chair and inspected the inside of the house to see if everything seemed normal. The only abnormal thing I found was the slight smell of ozone as I passed by the closed slider door that opens onto the deck.

I was curious about the two clicks, so I posted my experience on the wxqc (weather data quality) email list, which "is for Citizen Weather station operators who have an interest in improving the quality of the data that they report. This includes aspects like the siting of stations, how to calibrate sensors, how to interpret data quality problems and other general topics of interest."

I received a bunch replies. The consensus seem to follow what retired meteorologist, Thomas Giella, KN4LF, wrote:

"You were hearing the sound of the upward leader moving skyward from your tower, tree, telephone pole, etc. just before it met the downward stepped leader from the cloud and the lightning discharge occurred. You were VERY close to those strikes and lucky to have been unharmed and/or have suffered no property damage."


1 comment:

  1. Yep... Been through that at my last TV station... We heard "click, click, click" in the tech room... Finally realizing that it was static discharge off the tower (aka the 630 foot lightning rod) we braced for a lightning hit.