Ribbon Lightning Over the Czech Republic

November 01, 2021


Photographer: Pavel Gabzdyl

Summary Author: Pavel Gabzdyl

This intriguing photo shows a rare form of lightning over Brno, Czech Republic during a storm in July 2021. Unlike typical cloud-to-ground lightning, the left lightning bolt has successive strokes on the upper part and is subsequently divided into three different directions. Likewise, the right lightning bolt is divided into four very similar (but not exactly the same) parts that converge to one point on the horizon. This phenomenon is called ribbon lightning and it is caused by high crosswinds blowing the lightning stroke returns sideways. This cross-wind effect combined with multiple return strokes produces a ribbon-like appearance when photographed. A similar image can be present if the camera is moved while taking the photo, although this was not a factor for this photo because the second divided lightning was also captured on another camera. Image taken July 25, 2021. 

Photo Details: FUJIFILM X-T3, f/8, 20 second exposure, ISO-160, 35 mm focus

View Larger Map