8500 Homes Without Power Following Light ...
Emergency crews are working to restore power supply to about 8,500 people in the Blue Mountains.
Endeavour Energy responded to the outage after lightning strikes struck power lines earlier this afternoon.
Lightning interrupted power to homes and businesses in Springwood, Winmalee, Faulconbridge, Valley Heights, Linden, Hawkesbury Heights and Sun Valley.
“Emergency crews are currently patrolling the area to commence the restoration process,” an Endeavour Energy spokesman told The Daily Telegraph.
“Until these patrols are completed it is not possible to give an estimate of the time it will take to restore power supply to affected customers.”
He urged people who require power for medical equipment to check their battery supply and “consider acting on their back up plan”.
Endeavour Energy thanked residents for their patience as they attempt to restore power.
Source - News archive
Lightning sparks around 100 fires in Sou ...
Firefighters have responded to an estimated 100 lightning-caused fires across the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest in southwest Oregon since Sunday. As a result, the U.S. Forest Service is bringing in additional resources, according to a Monday afternoon news release. Fires are also burning in other parts of the state.
The Hendrix fire, which had burned an estimated 170 acres southwest of Ashland as of 3 p.m. Monday, was started by lightning Sunday, according to information from U.S. Forest Service's Facebook page.
Nearby, fires in the Wagner Complex also caused by lightning are burning more than 200 acres.
The Gravel fire, burning 100 acres just 8 miles northwest of Prospect, Oregon, was caused by lightning Sunday, according to Northwest Interagency Coordination Center. The fire was 0 percent contained Monday.
Sunday lightning also started eight new fires in Crater Lake National Park, all a half acre or less in size. The park remains open and visitors are not at risk, according to a Monday evening news release from the park.
Also in southwest Oregon, the Canyon Creek fire is burning about four miles south of Canyonville and is estimated to be around eight acres, according to a news release from Douglas Forest Protective Association. Other small fires are also burning in the southwest region.
The Collawash fire is a 25-acre wildfire discovered Sunday on the Clackamas River Ranger District of the Mt. Hood National Forest. Crews are making progress in building a line around the fire, according to a news release. Fire danger is high across Mt. Hood National Forest, with high temperatures and low humidity providing fires the possibility to grow fast. No closures are in place but visitors should be cautious when driving in the area.
East of Salem, a fire is burning around 27 acres in the southeast corner of Silver Falls State Park. The Silver Creek fire is estimated to be 35 percent contained, according to a Monday afternoon news release. Steep slopes, thick undergrowth and large snags pose challenges for firefighters in the area. No injuries or facility damage have been reported. Smoke was reported Thursday evening and a fire attack was launched Friday, according to the release.
In eastern Oregon, the Currey Canyon fire in Malheur County is 50 percent contained with one residence threatened as of Monday morning. It's burned 3,100 acres so far. Firefighters expect to have it fully contained by Friday.
In Wheeler County, firefighters have contained the Solitude fire, which started July 8 and burned 708 acres near Spray, Oregon.
Source - News archive
...Lightning strikes Catatumbo River in ...
A lightning storm rages almost constantly at the mouth of the Catatumbo River in northern Venezuela, with bolts striking up to 280 times per hour for 10 hours a day, on 260 nights every year. That's 28 lightning strikes per minute for those nights - and about 1.2 million lightning strikes each year.
Venezuela, home of the delicious pabellón criollo, has been experiencing the Catatumbo lightning for hundreds of years now. It comes from storm clouds that amass more than 3,200 feet above the spot where the Catatumbo River flows into Lake Maracaibo. According to meteorologists, winds going across the lake and its surrounding swamps are likely responsible for the storms. The swamps are plains surrounded by mountains - the Andes (home of the first cultivation of quinoa), the Perijá Mountains, and the Cordillera de Mérida - and the combination of heat and moisture in the area creates electrical charges that - when met with wind destabilized by the mountain ridges - turns into lightning and thunderstorms.
Light flashes from the storm can be seen up to 25 miles away, earning the phenomenon the nickname "The Maracaibo Beacon," and it's been used by ships for navigation as a result.
The frequency of the lightning strikes changes both within the year and from one year to the next. October's wet season is peak time for the storms, while they generally calm down in January and February. In fact, there was a break in the storm due to a drought between January and March of 2010, and locals feared that the phenomenon was over for good.
The Catatumbo lightning holds a special place in the heart of Venezuelans, because it may have been partially responsible for the nation's independence. An attempted surprise attack led by British navigator Sir Francis Drake on the Spanish army was spoiled by the bright lightning one night in 1595, a story that was later recounted in Lope de Vega's epic La Dragontea a few years later. Years later, in the early nineteenth century, the Spanish army itself attempted a sneak attack on Maracaibo in order to take back the country towards the end of the Venezuelan War of Independence. Again, the Catatumbo lightning lit up the landscape, thwarting the invasion and allowing Venezuela's beloved revolutionary hero, Simón Bolívar, and his fleet to win one of the last and most important battles in the wars against the Spanish for independence.
The Catatumbo lightning has also been responsible for producing more ozone at the mouth of the Catatumbo than any other place in the world. Scientists have expressed doubt, however, that this will have any effect on the world's ozone layer, due to the lightning's instability. Its effect on tourism, however, is not in doubt, as sightseers have flocked to the region to join nighttime tours to see the lightning. It's a great addition to any South American itinerary.
Source - Did you know 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
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