Date: Sunday 2nd July 2006
Macclesfield, Cheshire UK
Path: Overhead, travelling NNE
Duration: 90 minutes
Type: Linear, backbuilding Multicells
Average lightning type: C-G
Average discharge rate: 122 seconds (over 1 hour where rates were up
Footage Quality: VHS / Hi-8 / Digicam
This was the day that Manchester saw flooding and severe
lightning on the 2nd July 2006, due to a particular back building cell to
the north. News links and a paper study below:
It was in its developing stages as I
documented it and the development zone passed over Macclesfield. Multiple
large cells were seen (irritatingly) all around the horizon, missing
Macclesfield by around 10 miles and
I had no vehicle at the time to venture out with. The weather situation was
a slowly moving warm plume, likely preconditioned by previous day's heating,
coming up from the south and interacting lightly with a slowly approaching
Atlantic trough. There were some large thunderstorms Southwest earlier in
the morning which dissipated as they moved north.
The afternoon heat kicked in and cells were firing very quickly in the
northwest of England. The atmosphere was very humid, some of the following images are enhanced
to overcome the haziness in the atmosphere, and the red one has a
filter over the lens.
A first cell passed to
the west and gave a few odd distant thunders as it progressed towards
Manchester, and then a second cell
approached from the south.
A rapidly developing
arcus/shelf cloud was spotted mid-birth to the west, likely outflow and
convergence generated. This brought what appeared to be mid-level convection
into surface-based mode. This would have been one of the fuel
lines for the intense cells that hit Manchester as it
progressed northwards. The skies went really black in the Manchester
direction as the development continued.
The second cell actually went right overhead but the core
was positioned a few miles to the southeast as it pulsated northeast over
the Pennines. Much of the rain fell to the east of Macclesfield
and only a couple of close C-Gs were dropped nearby. The heavy rain and high
humidity hid the I-C and C-C lightning well, if there was any, as I couldn’t
tell where the lightning was occurring
As the storm left an
overhanging anvil which lingered for at least an hour as cells continued to
develop over the Pennines to the East. Meanwhile Manchester saw
the worst of this storm system due to back-building (judging by radar) with
quasi-stationary persistent torrential rain. Marble-sized hail and lightning
damage to someone’s roof were reported in news. The satellite images show clearly how
large and explosive the development of this storm was, however with these types of
storms the main cores are always very local.
Another key feature was
spotted as the storm left Macclesfield; a strong outflow current on the North West horizon with ground-level cloud rolling in the direction
away from the storm (south westerly direction). This lasted for about 10
minutes before vanishing.
The altocumulus sunset
post-storm was also rather nice.
SATELLITE IMAGE (Credits)