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tornadomanuk

Thunderstorm Questions

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I thought I would start this post as I'm interested in finding out the answers to a couple of questions I have regarding thunderstorms. The early hours of this morning (19/07/2017) was a great night for storms in my area but I wanted to know -

  1. There where numerous cells around me all producing good amounts of lightning - frequent too. The cell to my SW, then W was a particularly prolific one, spitting out lighting (mostly IC) every 20 seconds or so. My question is what causes a highly productive cell to suddenly stop producing lightning. Literally it went from flash after flash to then nothing. Then after 10 minutes or so went back to bombarding the area beneath it with a good light show. Is it to do with inflow feeding the storm to be momentarily cut off? or is it to do with shear?
  2. My second question again relates the the fact that numerous cells where surrounding my area. When a lightning strikes, say from the cell to the North, it almost (9 times out of 10) triggers the other cells, some a fair distance away to trigger a strike as well. Is there some relation between each cell, or is it the fact the atmosphere is so unstable that one strike can cause others to happen at the same time?

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It's the tacograph.  EU legislation, the cell has to take a break every ninety minutes.  

As for real answers, I've no idea sadly.  Hopefully someone on here will have them, however my understanding is that lightning is a phenomenon nowhere near fully explained

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As a guess (hoping that someone better qualified can answer this!), I'd expect it's to do with the Cell modes, and where the convergence/divergence is happening. A single cell I suppose will go up, then choke off at some point, unless shear is providing updraft downdraft separation. The transition from CC, then a break, to then CG's is something I saw a lot of in Darwin - storms would go up, the bottom would literally dissolve and you were left with CC within the anvil canopy that was still active. Multicell storms obviously have the same thing going on, however cells are being triggered around the outflow of each other, and you're right RE the inflow - in an mcs system aswell inflow is important in defining where the activity is and the cells firing under the cloud shield. On the slightly larger scale, and it's a painful point  as I was sat in Cirencester watching the south coast get battered and me having nothing!, storms would fall apart as soon as they moved north, with activity kicking off behind, so nothing ever got to me. I'm not sure whether this was a number of things: Convergence above the boundary layer in that area, stabilisation of the theta-w air from previous convection over c/southern England, so no cape inflow, divergence over my area caused by a converging flow aloft in the jet stream, or something else..

Lightning triggering from cell to cell is one of the most amazing weather spectacles I like to watch - have to go back to 1995 around here though for a storm system like that (help!). I would imagine (and your guess will be equally as good mine atleast!) that it is an indirect route, but still a route found, for the charges in the originating storm to equalise themselves. 

 

Samos :)

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How do we tell the difference between an MCS and lots of separate ones?

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Posted (edited)

Does anyone know about elevated  thunderstorms? Why at times are there no gust fronts? Why does the surface winds stay out of the east during the thunderstorms if the thunderstorms are coming in from the southwest?

Edited by Mtj75
Typo

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Hi,

I live in Cambridge, and on the 30th April this year a really violent thunderstorm, with lightning, strong wind, hail and really loud thunder, sped over the city. 

I took numerous pictures of the event- does anyone have any idea what type of storm this is, and is the cloud formation depicted on the first image a shelf cloud? 

In addition, is it just me, or do the clouds have a very slight greenish tinge to them?

Thanks!

 

IMG_2689.jpg

IMG_2679.jpg

IMG_2682.jpg

DSC07049.jpg

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8 minutes ago, Gleb Berloff said:

Hi,

I live in Cambridge, and on the 30th April this year a really violent thunderstorm, with lightning, strong wind, hail and really loud thunder, sped over the city. 

I took numerous pictures of the event- does anyone have any idea what type of storm this is, and is the cloud formation depicted on the first image a shelf cloud? 

In addition, is it just me, or do the clouds have a very slight greenish tinge to them?

Thanks!

 

IMG_2689.jpg

IMG_2679.jpg

IMG_2682.jpg

DSC07049.jpg

Hi, welcome to NW! The first and last pics are clear pictures of a shelf cloud. A slight greenish tinge could indicate large hail falling.

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4 minutes ago, Zak M said:

Hi, welcome to NW! The first and last pics are clear pictures of a shelf cloud. A slight greenish tinge could indicate large hail falling.

Thanks! 

Nice to hear that. And yes, there was an exceptionally violent bombardment of hail a few minutes after I took this particular image...

 

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