Date: Wednesday 7th July 2004   Time: 01:09 BST
Macclesfield, Cheshire UK
Path: Overhead

Mid-level forced convection (in cold but well-mixed preconditioned air-mass)
Duration: 90 minutes
Type: Multicell
Average lightning type: C-C
Average discharge rate: 69 seconds initially, easing to 100 seconds
Footage Quality:


This was one of the most energetic night time storms Iíve filmed yet and the only storm so far where I know Iíve captured the actual initial discharge. It developed directly overhead in the slack flow at around 1:00am shortly after T0048 had dissipated, likely forced from upper level feeding from the top of the pre-mixed boundary layer of the daytime heating the day before, like T0048, preceding a Spanish Plume system developing to the south over northern France. Thunder was often high-amplitude and durable in nature, with large crawling C-Cs, supporting higher cloud base and multi-cellular structure often featured in mid-level storms.


At first this cell was electrically silent but the precipitation was torrential overhead. Knowing that this atmosphere was unstable to the trop I decided to put the camera up in hope of catching something else for the night.


Shortly after I did so, the first discharge of the cell (initiation discharge) happened in the form of an overhead C-C followed by a powerful crash of thunder. Then within more or less every minute there was another discharge, mostly crawling C-Cs.

The C-C shown above in particular was very bright and was accompanied with a very loud thunder, even from a distance. The following C-C was beautiful and tame in comparison showing a orb-fashioned shape. 

A distinct line between the updraught and downdraught was starting to become evident as C-C spiders danced just in between them.

I was confident there were minimal C-G strikes as the storm initiated just as it left the area, giving a clear view of the whole main cloud base, however the initiation discharge may have been an out-of-view C-G. The storm was visible for more than an hour and a half as it slowly creeped its way northwards giving some immense displays of C-C, often with ďcall and responseĒ characteristics between two cells. The silhouette of a strong bubbly updraught-base was also revealed as it left the area.

This next one is one of my favourites from this storm; as well as lighting up the underside of the updraught base, the C-C had many branches before one connected with the ground to finish the discharge off. Shame the tree was in the way.

This was one of the best night-time storms Iíve filmed after T0011 and T0024. It was very easy to film as the storm initiated overhead, giving some nice close-quarter action, then the rain curtain immediately left the area leaving nothing but a dry, calm wind lightshow. The entire line of cells dissipated around about the time I stopped filming at 2:50am.

CHARTS (Credits)
NOAA 500hPa Reanalysis NOAA 500hPa Reanalysis NOAA 500hPa Reanalysis

SFERICS (Credits)


INFRARED 06.07.2004 22:13

INFRARED 06.07.2004 22:13 + GRID
INFRARED 07.07.2004 04:48
INFRARED 07.07.2004 04:48 + GRID


© Mark Seltzer  www.electricsky.co.uk


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