STORM PS0001 Date: Friday 12th September 1997 Time: 20:15
Macclesfield, Cheshire UK Path: ~20-25 miles away to the north (over Manchester)
Polar maritime airflow Duration: 30 minutes Type: Open-cell convection, aided by land convergence Average lightning type: P-F Average discharge rate: 180 seconds
Footage Quality: VHS/Hi8
This was a late season
unstable polar maritime situation, basically plenty of showers. The Cheshire
gap in this situation is often good at coming up with some
convergence-enhanced shower bands. Not expecting any big thundery activity, I briefly filmed a belt
of anvils forming along the northwest horizon about 45 minutes after
sundown. A few minutes later I filmed them again to record how
much they grew (bear in mind I didn't have a still-camera at this age, only
video). This time, as I was panning anti-clockwise I saw a brief flash in the corner of
my right eye. I then positioned the camera at a large multicell, which was
Unusually I had a clear shot of the entire cumulonimbus cloud and its
thunderhead along with the surrounding atmosphere, and as a result I got
some fantastic displays of Positive Flashes (P-Fs) and Cloud to Airís
(C-As), which I was not expecting, especially from a cold air thunderstorm. The footage is a little rugged as it was ripped straight from VHS/Hi8
but it is still relatively impressive.
The only thunder heard was from two P-Fs. The strangely spider-shaped C-A in
the still images above connected to the ground for the first P-F. Then
another one in direct view occurred a little later (shown below).
Despite being over 20 miles away to the north (calculated from the delay to
the thunder) the two P-Fs it gave were heard as distant bassy rumbles,
showing how powerful they were.