Date: Wednesday 15th August 2001
Time: 18:29 BST (3 cells)
Macclesfield, Cheshire UK
Path: All moving Northeast, Cell 1 & 2 few miles southeast, Cell 3 10 miles northwest.

Spanish Plume
Duration: 3 Cells: 30 / 6 / 40 minutes
Type: Elevated Multicell (Cells 1 and 2), Frontal Linear Multicell (Cell 3)
Average lightning type: 3 Cells: C-G / C-C / C-C
Average discharge rate: 3 Cells: 51s / n/a / 97s
Footage Quality:
VHS / Hi-8


This was the same system as T0039 earlier in the day, with Spanish Plume elements, but actually this time was more akin to the Atlantic cold front and upper trough running into the west edge of it. There were only 3 cells in the country and all 3 were visible from Macclesfield. Cells 1 and 2 were likely linked and occurred ahead of the cold front, showing mid-level characteristics with smooth bases. Cell 3 was a long-lived MCS which passed over Wales and out west of Macclesfield in the distance, likely riding the wave tip of the upper trough by the looks of it, and was linear and surface-based in nature with lower cloud and arcus.

Cells 1 and 2 in this case as it hit first was shown on the radar developing in lee of the Welsh mountains just to the south of the Pennine ridge, which suggests it may have been orographically encouraged, a mechanism which works well with altocumulus Castlellanus (mid-level waves inducing ascent downstream). It clipped Macclesfield to the southeast before Cell 3 (the frontal cell) approached and was seen from a fair distance. A fair amount of C-G and C-C was observed from all cells.

Cell 3's large wave of low-level stratus cloud gave away the fronta/surface based nature of it.

The lightning activity of Cell 3 was situated at the back-end near the updraughts in the form of distant C-Cs and I-Cs. Although they were too far away to hear the thunder, they showed up well against the cloud in the fading light.

VISIBLE 15.08.2001 16:30

VISIBLE 15.08.2001 16:30 without grid
INFRARED 15.08.2001 16:30
COLOUR 15.08.2001 16:30
COLOUR 15.08.2001 16:30 without grid

INFRARED 16.08.2001 02:06

CHARTS (Credits)

SFERICS (orange markers) (Credits)


Mark Seltzer  www.electricsky.co.uk


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