Date: Friday 7th June 1996  Time: 20:45 BST
Macclesfield, Cheshire UK
Path: Overhead moving northwards

Continental Plume
Duration: ~ 3 hours
Type: Multicells
Average lightning type: Cloud-to-cloud / Cloud-to-ground
Average discharge rate:
Footage Quality: None

T0002 consisted of several large continental plume cells pulsating northwards across much of the country, with areas such as Macclesfield getting hit again and again one after the other. Occurring at night-time made them more spectacular and had a total duration of about 3 hours from my perspective. Still not having a video camera in my possession, I a
udio-taped the thunder and captured a few good ones including a couple of crashers from close CGs near the rear of the cells (classic for forward-sloping mid-level storms). The storms cleared the area at about midnight. Obviously I only audio-taped the peak of the activity when it got close, however after three hours of watching I then got bored of the distant flickers and went to bed. This would have been a good one to film.

(right click and download mp3)
T0002 Thunder 1 (mp3)
T0002 Thunder 2 (mp3)

Looking at satellite imagery below the storms were a result of a classic continental plume (or likely Spanish Plume) being dragged north and destabilising against the advancing Atlantic trough. You can see the surface heat - even at 02:15UTC, Over France and Germany. Looking at the 02:15 IR image it is clear that there were large amounts of convective activity running in a line up the country, now across the North Sea at 02:15UTC, pointing to a widespread UK outbreak. By this time another "cut-off low" appears to have formed in the Bay of Biscay.

VISIBLE 07.06.1996 14:01

INFRARED 07.06.1996 14:01
COLOUR 07.06.1996 14:01

INFRARED 08.06.1996 02:15


Here's the original BBC weather forecast before the storms really got going that evening, courtesy of Kevin Bradshaw (and of course the BBC).



Mark Seltzer  www.electricsky.co.uk


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