Bolt Out of the Blue

December 17, 2019

Epod (11)

Photographer: Stefanos Mistrellides
Summary Authors: Stefanos Mistrellides; Jim Foster

This impressive cloud-to-ground lightning strike is perhaps 6 miles (10 km) distant from my location in Nicosia, Cyprus. The leader itself is several miles long. Anyone in the vicinity of where it struck the ground might say that it was a bolt out of the blue. However, lightning can occur up to 10 miles (16 km) away from the parent storm cloud, which is why when you’re outdoors and thunder is first heard, it’s wise to seek shelter right away. Note that stepped leaders surge from the cloud base toward the ground, in short, speedy bursts, guided not by the path of least resistance but by the environment of the air at the tip of the surging leader. Photo taken during late evening on December 1, 2019.

Photo Details: Camera: Canon EOS 80D; Software: Adobe Photoshop CC 2019 (Windows); Exposure Time: 20.000s; Aperture: ƒ/5.0; ISO equivalent: 100; Focal Length: 20.0mm.