News archive

Lightning sparks wildfires in northern Greece

Lightning sparked three wildfires in remote parts of the Halkidiki peninsula in northern Greece in the early hours of Tuesday, according to the fire service. Ground and air crews were battling blazes in the uplands of Kavourotrypes and Vourvourou on the Sithonia leg of the peninsula on Tuesday morning, after putting out another fire in Afytos on the Cassandra leg earlier. On Sunday, a bolt of lighting is believed to have killed a 58-year-old motorcyclist on the outskirts of Thessaloniki. The man was found dead 40 kilometers east of the northern port city with a hole in his helmet.
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Police in Greece say motorcyclist killed by lightning strike

THESSALONIKI, Greece (AP) — Authorities in Greece say a 58-year-old motorcyclist was killed when lightning struck him on a highway. Police say the man was found dead 40 kilometers (25 miles) east of the northern city of Thessaloniki with a hole in his helmet, presumably the result of the lightning striking him. The victim was driving toward the city in stormy conditions. There were no details about burns on the body, but authorities say they are certain the motorcyclist's death was not the result of his 800-cc motorcycle falling after the lightning struck.
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Over 50,000 strokes on Thursday 10th of May 2018

Over 50,000 cloud-to-ground discharges were recorded by the ZEUS lightning detection network on Thursday 10th of May 2018. Central, Southern and Eastern Europe, Northern Africa and Middle East were affected by the widespread electrical activity.
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Close to 40,000 strokes, on Wednesday 8/5/2018

Close to 40,000 cloud-to-ground discharges were recorded over Central, Southern, Eastern Europe, Northern Africa and Middle East, by the VLF lightning detection network “ZEUS”, which is operated by the National Observatory of Athens. Most of them were concentrated in the 09:00-19:00 UTC.
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Bristol Uber fares skyrocket as massive tropical thunderstorm engulfs city

If, like many people in Bristol, you're planning on getting an Uber to go out and about in town tonight (Sat 21/4/2018), you might want to rethink your plans - because rides with the popular taxi company have soared in price thanks to bad weather. Uber fares are subject to a 'surge' when demand is higher and while this often happens during peak times on Friday and Saturday evenings, tonight has seen fares soar by more than four times their regular price. This is thanks to the huge thunderstorm which has made its way across the city this evening, bringing with it some mighty thunder claps and some incredible sheet lightning as it passes. A journey which usually costs around £5 is priced at between £16-20 thanks to the weather.
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Lightning strikes jet near San Jose Airport

SAN JOSE (KRON) - A pilot and eight passengers are all okay after a stroke of lightning struck their jet during a spring storm Monday in San Jose. It happened around 9:30 a.m. about five miles from Mineta San Jose International Airport. No one was injured in the incident.
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A New Method to Protect Aircraft From Lightning Strikes? (3/4/2018)

While the possibility of an aircraft being struck by lightning is rare and does not present a threat to flight crews or pilots, aircraft manufacturers are looking to improve their current level of understanding of the interaction between aircraft and lightning. A new study published by several researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) department of aeronautics presents a theory that providing aircraft with a mechanism for becoming more electrically charged internally when the threat of a lightning strike is present would actually reduce their risk of being struck by lightning.
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‘Massive fireball’ lightning strike damages ancient Scottish castle (20/2/2018)

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.
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Storm force winds, lightning and snow hit Scotland

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.
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Lightning kills four in South Africa (2/1/2018)

Four people lost their lives when they were struck by lightning in South Africa on Sunday, authorities said. Two were killed when lightning struck two villages in Eastern Cape Province, the provincial health department said. Sixteen other people were injured during the strikes, said the department. A separate lightning strike in KwaZulu-Natal Province killed two people and injured three others, the provincial government said. Those injured have been taken to nearby hospitals and were in a stable condition. Most of them suffered severe burns, according to health officials. Heavy storms have ripped through the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal province in the past few days, leaving a trail of destruction. Disaster management teams have been put on high alert following the storms. Authorities have cautioned people against using trees as a cover in cloudy conditions, particularly in the middle of summer when lightning takes place frequently. South Africa has one of the highest lightning ground strike densities in the world. Particularly in recent years, deaths from lightning are growing in rural areas. Thunderstorms, generating big electrical discharges, are common in South Africa's eastern and northern provinces between October and March. At least 100 people are killed annually due to lightning strikes in South Africa, according to official statistics.
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Northern Ireland escapes the worst of Storm Dylan despite amber warning (1/1/2018)

Storm Dylan passed over Northern Ireland causing little or no damage despite an amber weather warning being issued by the Met Office. An amber warning, which was in place across Northern Ireland from 2am to 3pm yesterday, is issued when, according to the Met Office, "there is a potential for damage to buildings such as tiles blown from roofs and debris". The forecast was for "some very strong winds" with "a chance of damage to buildings with the potential for injuries and danger to life from flying debris". Disruption to road, air and ferry services were also forecast, along with the possibility of power cuts. However, most areas escaped the worst of the storm and just 500 homes in Craigavon were left without power as a result of the strong winds. A spokesman for Northern Ireland Electricity said a full team of engineers had been put on standby following the Met Office's warning. "He said: "At 6am on Sunday there were around 500 homes in Craigavon without power as a result of the storm, and two thirds of those had power restored by 8am. "From 9am onwards, there were around 100 homes without power. "This was a bad storm but by no means the worst we have had but regardless, we have to use the same emergency plan which we escalate once we were made aware of the amber warning issued by the Met Office." Gusts of 59mph were recorded at Magilligan in Co Londonderry, but the strongest winds not surprisingly were at Malin Head in County Donegal where speeds of up to 77mph were noted. Belfast City Council and Derry City and Strabane Council closed its public parks in the morning as a precautionary measure. The Foyle Bridge in Londonderry was also closed to high sided vehicles for a time but by 9am it was declared safe for all traffic to pass. The storm passed over Northern Ireland and headed towards Scotland where again the havoc did not manifest itself to the degree predicted by the weather forecasters.
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Tropical Storm Kills 30, and Nearly 90,000 Flee to Shelters in Philippines (18/12/2017)

More than 30 people were killed and many others were missing after a slow-moving tropical storm spurred floods and landslides in the central Philippines, officials said on Sunday. Thousands of Christmas holiday travelers were stranded, and 89,000 people were forced to flee to emergency shelters because of Tropical Storm Kai-Tak, according to local news reports. Sofronio Dacillo Jr., a disaster response officer, told The Associated Press that landslides in the island province of Biliran had killed dozens of villagers and left others missing after the storm blew over on Saturday. The storm weakened into a tropical depression but moved southwest and picked up speed on Sunday, with sustained winds of 34 miles per hour, according to officials and the police. The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said it was trying to confirm the deaths reported because of the storm. The storm, known locally as Urduja, has remained almost stationary over the eastern section of the central Philippines, knocking out power in some areas. President Rodrigo Duterte said he would visit the region. The Philippines is one of the most disaster-prone areas in the world, with about 20 typhoons and storms, mostly from the Pacific, lashing the country of over 100 million people each year, according to The A.P.
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...that Gamma rays from lightning found to create antimatter in the air?

Lightning is one of Earth's most energetic events, but there's much more to it than just a flashing fork and the rumble of thunder. Lightning strikes have been known to generate gamma rays, and now a team of Japanese researchers has found that those bursts can create photonuclear reactions in the atmosphere, resulting in the production – and annihilation – of antimatter.
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Medicane ZENON formed in the Ionian Sea during the first hours of 17th of November 2017

A medicane was formed during the first hours of 17th of November 2017. The madicane was named ZENON by the National Observatory of Athens. It currently rotates in the Ionian Sea and it is expected to move towards southern Greece in the afternoon of Saturday.
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Central Mediterranean battered by lightning on Tuesday 7/11/2017

Once again, Central Mediterranean was battered by lighting. ZEUS, the lightning detection network of the National Observatory of Athens, recorded over 18000 strokes during Tuesday 7/11/2017.
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Power Blackouts Caused By Lightning Storm (6/11/2017)

Yesterday‘s storm (5/11/2017) didn‘t go unnoticed by Icelanders, causing minor property damage as well as temporary power blackouts across the capital area, Reykjanes, the Westman Islands and more locations. According to RÚV, the blackouts were mostly caused by lightning that damaged Landsnet‘s distribution system, leading to power failure for over 40.000 residents. Icelandic weather seldom includes thunder and lightning, due to the cooler climate, making last night's occurrence quite rare. At least one lightning hit Landsnet’s Suðurnesjalína 1 around 9 PM, causing a total blackout for the entire area, including Keflavík’s international airport. Another lightning hit Rimakotslína 1 right before 11 PM, causing blackouts for various locations in South Iceland, including Vík í Mýrdal as well the nearby Westman Islands. A transformer in Hafnarfjörður also went out, leading to blackouts for both Hafnarfjörður and Garðabær. The reason behind that particular power-outage is unclear. The Icelandic Association for Search and Rescue (ICE-SAR) reported that over 250 volunteers were at work last night to take care of hundreds of different tasks in the capital area, Reykjanes, the South, the West and the Westfjords. The tasks mostly included attending to roofs, mobile homes, trampolines, signs as well as scaffolding and materials from building sites.
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Daedalus Storm caused many damages in Greece (31/10/2017)

Many parts of Greece have been hit last week by a powerful low barometric phenomenon called Daedalus bringing hailstorms, heavy rain and low temperatures. The areas that have been hit the hardest are in central Greece, and in particular in the Fthiotis Region, as well as parts of the Peloponnese. The weather system is expected to hit Athens on Wednesday, when storms as well as a substantial drop in temperature, are expected. The worst problems occurred in the area around the towns of Livanates and Arkitsa, on Tuesday evening when a heavy hailstorm caused disruption on the main highway linking Athens and Thessaloniki in northern Greece! In Peloponnese the town of Katakolo was dressed in white following a hailstorm. The hail reached the seaside. In the town of Marathon; north-east of Athens, the heavy rainfall created chaos on the streets that eventually turned into small rivers.
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Over 176,000 lightning strikes witnessed in Australia (30/10/2017)

Over 176,000 lightning strikes were witnessed in Australia's Queensland state due to severe storms, the media reported on Monday. According to the state bureau of Meteorology, the lightning bolts ripped across the night skies on Sunday with more expected on Monday, reports the BBC. The turbulent weather had photographers and storm chasers glued to the skies, with many capturing stunning shots of the lightning strikes. "The sky was electric for hours, certainly more than usual storms," a Brisbane-based photographer told the BBC. "It would erupt in bursts, lighting up the entire sky, then calming momentarily before continuing the electric display." Local energy provider Energexx said more than 4,000 homes were left without power as a result of the storms. The bureau has also has warned of more "severe thunderstorms", "damaging winds and large hailstones".
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Heavy electrical activity continues over eastern Mediterranean (26/10/2017)

Thunderstorms dominated the eastern Mediterranean on Wednesday 25/10/2017. The ZEUS lightning detection network of the National Observatory of Athens, recorded over 16000 strokes in the area.
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Electric activity over central and eastern Mediterranean continued on Tuesday 24/10/2017

Thunderstorms and electric activity over central and eastern Mediterranean continued on Tuesday 24/10/2017. According to the ZEUS VLF lightning detection network of NOA, more than 6500 strokes were recorded over the area.
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