Lightning Over Seattle

July 15, 2004


Provided and copyright by: Bob Harrington, Bobqat Photography
Summary authors & editors: Bob Harrington

The stunning photo above shows a rare and (for the Pacific Northwest) rather enthusiastic lightning display over Seattle, Washington early in the morning of June 18, 2004. The cumulonimbus cells were rather high-based, and thus many of the cloud to ground bolts were quite long. For scale, the Space Needle is 0.8 miles (1.3 km) from the camera, and the ground contact points of the lightning are a little over 3 miles (5 km).

I was fortunate to get a good picture or two from a scenic viewpoint near my home while dodging some very large raindrops. Of course, the shutter on the camera wasn't open a little earlier when another cell east of the city produced a bolt of the most amazing and wonderfully rich, emerald green color, like nothing I've ever seen before. I didn't see the actual bolt, rather the diffused light from it after it passed through a heavy rain shaft.

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