‘Massive fireball’ lightning strike dama ...
An ancient castle on the northwest coast of Scotland has been heavily damaged by a lightning strike that a witness compared to a “massive fireball.”
Castle Maol on the Isle of Skye was left significantly damaged by the dramatic display of nature’s power. Local hotel manager Robert Ireland captured dramatic footage of the powerful strike that blasted the ancient tower.
Duncan Barwise, who was safely indoors during the violent storm, described it as “a rare and unnerving combination of lightning, thunder, violent wind, and wet snow.” Local man Barwise captured before and after photos of the ruin.
“Suddenly, a sharp, almost deafening crack of thunder coincided with what seemed like a massive fireball,” he said, reliving the incident that felled the ancient fortification.
“Electricity filled the air. The familiar floodlights, which illuminated the walls of the once-fortified tower were extinguished.”
The following morning Barwise discovered that the castle’s iconic peak on the left wall was entirely gone. He said it had been “blown apart” by the lightning strike.
“The castle, first established by the Vikings in the 9th century, was dealt yet another blow by nature's capricious hand - right before our eyes,” he added.
Source - News archive
Storm force winds, lightning and snow hi ...
A Met Office yellow warning for snow and ice is in place across much of the Highlands until 10:00 on Friday.
The difficult driving conditions have seen a car end up on its roof on the A82.
Over the past 24 hours, winds have gusted to more than 100mph in the Cairngorms.
Traffic Scotland has reported the closures of snow gates on several high level routes, including Banchory to Fettercairn and on the A93 at Spittal of Glenshee.
High winds have been affecting crossings of the Kessock Bridge at Inverness and the Skye Bridge, while Police Scotland warned of "pockets of bad weather" affecting travel on roads in Dumfries and Galloway.
Travel on the A82 in Glen Coe and on stretches of the A9 in the Highlands and Perthshire were badly affected by snow and high winds on Wednesday.
The storm force winds were detected on Wednesday by the Scottish Avalanche Information Service in the range's northern mountains.
The lightning strikes, accompanied by snow and heavy rain, were widespread on west Highland coast.
High winds have continued to affect the Cairngorms on Thursday.
CairnGorm Mountain ski centre said the stormy weather had affected its phone lines.
Staff said gusts of up to 70mph had been recorded at the centre's top station, along with a temperature of -7C.
There have also been heavy snowfalls and the high winds have been causing snow to build up in some places.
CairnGorm Mountain said there were drifts "as big as cliffs" in some areas.
Wednesday night's lightning could be seen from Kyleakin on Skye, Kyle of Lochalsh and also in West Ross, including Ullapool.
Source - News archive
What was that strange light in the sky?
Many people overnight reported seeing strange lights in the sky, a phenomenon that has been reported for centuries before, during, and after earthquakes.
Seismologists aren't in agreement about the causes of the hotly-debated phenomenon - called earthquake lights or, sometimes, earthquake lightning.
And, of course, it's not clear whether the lights overnight in New Zealand were the phenomenon, or something else.
One theory suggests dormant electrical charges in rocks are triggered by the stress of the Earth's crust and plate tectonics, transferring the charge to the surface where it appears as light.
Historical reports include globes, or orbs, of glowing light, floating just above the ground or in the sky.
Much like tidal research, it is an area that is notoriously difficult to investigate. Tidal stresses and their effects on the Earth are minute, but measurable, although many seismologists remain unconvinced by theories of "tidally triggered" earthquakes.
With "earthquake light", the phenomenon is also notoriously difficult to observe, study, and measure.
GNS seismologist Caroline Holden said there were anecdotal reports of lights in the sky.
"Unfortunately, we cannot measure this phenomena or its extent with our instruments to provide a clear explanation," she said.
The phenomenon has been documented for centuries.
Hypotheses have suggested the movement of rocks could generate an electric field, others suggest quakes can lead to rocks conducting electromagnetic energy and a subsequent build up of electric charges in the upper atmosphere.
Yet another theory suggests a link between the electric charge, or current, released by the earth ripping and buckling below the surface, and the magnetic properties of rock.
The charge appears as light, so the theory goes.
People reported similar strange lights in the sky during the 2011 Christchurch earthquake.
In 1888, before a large quake around the Hanmer region, a strange glow in the sky was reported by observers.
One recent study documented hundreds of sightings of strange light, glowing, and aurora-like reports, from 1600 to the 19th century.
The study in the Seismological Research Letters suggested a charge builds up in rock inside the Earth's crust and, as it becomes rapidly unstable in a quake, expands outward.
In an earthquake, the electrical charge transfers from below the surface to the surface, or above, depending on the conductivity of the rock - appearing as light.
"When such an intense charge state reaches the Earth's surface and crosses the ground–air interface, it is expected to cause [an electric transmission and breakdown] of the air and, hence, an outburst of light.
"This process is suspected to be responsible for flashes of light coming out of the ground and expanding to considerable heights at the time when seismic waves from a large earthquake pass by."
The study said some seismologists also think the theory could account for other phenomena, such as changes to electrical fields, strange fog, haze, clouds, and low-frequency humming or radio frequency emission.
In the study, the researchers found the light was more often associated with a type of quake in which tectonic plates are wrenched apart, known as a "rift" earthquake
Source - Did you know archive
Animals get struck by lightning, too.
Lightning strikes about 100 times every second of the day, mainly in warmer regions of the world. About 240,000 people are injured by lightning every year, and 24,000 die after being struck. But humans aren’t the only victims of lightning — animals are, too, though reports of such deaths are far rarer than the deaths themselves.
Source - Did you know archive
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