Super slo-mo lightning strikes

In Watch on October 1, 2010 at 7:07 am

This video shows lightning strikes over Rapid City, SD, at 9000 frames per second.

Jason Kottke’s commentary:

The action across time scales displayed in this video is amazing. One strike hovers in the frame almost the entire time while other hundreds of other strikes flicker in and out in single frames.

We’re looking at less than half a second spread out over 1:32.  Per the YouTube description:

A preceding downward positive ground flash triggers upward leaders from seven towers, three of which are visible in the video.

The downward positive ground flash is the big boom on the left at 0:14.  The upward leaders from the towers start creeping up around 0:18.  By my count, the left-most tower then gets hit 18 times from 1:00 to the end of the video.  That’s 18 separate times over a tenth of a second if I’m reading the time code correctly.

  1. That is one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen. They say lighting doesn’t strike twice, but it certainly looked like it was striking in the same spot over and over again.

    • Seriously, this video is excellent. I wonder if CA lightning storms are also this active on the millisecond timescale, or if it has to be a storm in a crazy-weather state.

  2. way cool. but did you really sit there and up to 18?! that alone is impressive.

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