Date: Saturday 6th June 1998   Time: 17:10 BST
Macclesfield, Cheshire UK
Path: Overhead

Warm Sector ahead of surface cold front
Duration: 45 minutes
Type: Surface-based Multicell
Average lightning type: C-C
Average discharge rate: 260 seconds
Footage Quality:


This storm created one of the heaviest bursts of rain I have personally seen to date, with large rain-droplets. On the radar there was a pronounced red echo in the nearby area giving away the storm's core. There were a cluster of cells extending from Macclesfield to Liverpool. After dumping a shed load of rain on Macclesfield and giving a few shots of lightning C-C and C-G lightning, it swept over Manchester and then later more northern parts.

The discharges the storm gave were of high-amp nature. However they were far between with around 4-6 minutes between each discharge (eventually speeding up when exiting the area). The visibility was also reduced as sunlight was penetrating around the edges of the storm through the already-dense rain curtains, so the lightning was often faint to the camera. Strong downdraughts were present during the head rain with gusty winds, which also made it hard to film upwind without getting rain on the lens.

The lightning caught on camera concluded at 4 sheet-flashes (could have been reflections of visible streaks), 3 C-Cs and one C-G discharge. Shortly after the storm cleared the area, a separate cell (T0013) started to move in from the south and trundled just east of Macclesfield.

The synoptics were a little messy, looking at the below analysis and satellite imagery it looked as if this was free convection, likely surface-based, within a standard warm sector ahead of an approaching cold front. Clear skies ahead of the cold front allowed for surface heating, likely into the low twenties on this day. It is hard to say without more data if this was fuelled by part of an Iberian well-mixed warm sector (Spanish plume) as most of that activity appeared to lay east over France and German. Looking at the Infrared imagery, the Macclesfield cells to appear to be aligned with a Norfolk cell and Dutch cell, suggesting there was a notable upper trough helping destabilise the warm sector along this line.

CHARTS (Credits)

VISIBLE 06.06.1998 17:48

INFRARED 06.06.1998 17:48
COLOUR 06.06.1998 17:48

VISIBLE 06.06.1998 17:48 + Grid
INFRARED 06.06.1998 17:48 + Grid
COLOUR 06.06.1998 17:48 + Grid


Mark Seltzer  www.electricsky.co.uk


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