Storms
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Saturn

Cassini Captures First Movie of Lightning on Saturn

NASA's Cassini spacecraft has captured images of lightning on Saturn, allowing the scientists to create the first movie showing lightning flashing on another planet. "Ever since the beginning of the Cassini mission, a major goal of the Imaging Team has been the detection of Saturnian lightning," said team leader Carolyn Porco in an email. Porco said the ability to capture the lightning was a direct result of the dimming of the ringshine on the night side of the planet during last year's Saturn equinox. "And these flashes have been shown to be coincident in time with the emission of powerful electrostatic discharges intercepted by the Cassini Radio and Plasma Wave experiment," Porco added.
Embedded video from
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory California Institute of Technology

Cloud Lightning

Stormy weather wreaks havoc across Egypt

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© AFPA lightning illuminates the sky over Cairo.
Cairo - Four people were killed and more than 50 hurt as bad weather wreaked havoc across Egypt, pelting the capital with a freak hail storm and smashing a luxury liner into a pier, officials and media said Friday.

In the northern Mediterranean city of Alexandria, waves as high as a two-storey building pounded the coast, media reports said.

Thursday evening's hail storm in Cairo, the first in many years, caused mayhem in the capital, snarling traffic and bringing the sprawling city to a virtual standstill.

Cars crawled on the slippery roads as lightning periodically lit up the drenched streets.

The downpour followed a heat wave and caught many off guard.

Bizarro Earth

Severe Storms hit Southeast Queensland

Severe thunderstorms have swept across Queensland's southeast, with flash-flooding carrying cars down Brisbane roads.

The storms struck at about noon (AEST) today, producing thousands of lightning strikes, strong winds and heavy rain.

Strathpine, Brisbane and Logan are among the hardest hit areas.

The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) said the Brisbane CBD received more than 91mm of rain since 10am (AEST), leaving some of the city's roads under water and bringing traffic to a standstill.

Weatherzone.com.au reported the city received its heaviest 10-minute downpour of rain in at least eight years, receiving 25mm just after 11.40am (AEST).

In the Brisbane westside suburb of Milton, localised flooding carried cars down streets.

One local Milton resident, Tom Goldman, tried to drive his car through the severely flooded Haig Road, only to have the engine stall.

Cloud Lightning

Lightning Strike Grounds Florida-Bound Plane in Alabama

Montgomery - An airport official says a U.S. Airways flight was struck by lightning on its way to Florida, forcing the plane and its passengers to divert to Alabama.

Montgomery Regional Airport spokeswoman Lynn Cox said Saturday that the flight was grounded after 9:30 p.m. Friday in Montgomery, where the passengers had been given overnight accommodations.

Cox says a replacement plane had not arrived Saturday. She says some passengers arranged rental cars to continue on to Pensacola.

Cox says she was not aware of any injuries.

Cox did not know how many passengers were on board or where the flight originated.

Bizarro Earth

A New Kind Of Lightning Discovered

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© Bretwood HigmanLightning in the ash cloud atop Mount Redoubt from the March 28 eruption.
When volcano seismologist Stephen McNutt at the University of Alaska Fairbanks's Geophysical Institute saw strange spikes in the seismic data from the Mount Spurr eruption in 1992, he had no idea that his research was about to take an electrifying turn.

"The seismometers were actually picking up lightning strikes," said McNutt. "I knew that I had to reach out to the physicists studying lightning."

With McNutt's curiosity about volcanic lightning sparked, he teamed up with physicist and electrical engineer Ronald Thomas and Sonja Behnke, a graduate student in atmospheric physics at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology in Socorro, N.M. for a unique collaboration in order to learn more about volcanic lighting.

When the Mount Redoubt volcano started making seismic noise in January 2009, McNutt alerted Thomas and Behnke that this would be a great opportunity to capture some new volcanic lightning data. By the time the volcano erupted in March, the team had four Lightning Mapping Arrays set up to monitor the lightning from the eruption.

Cloud Lightning

Lightning strikes two planes near California airport

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© Ethan Miller, Getty Images/file
Burbank - Two Southwest Airlines airplanes have been struck by lighting while landing at Burbank's Bob Hope Airport.

Southwest spokeswoman Marilee McInnis says the flights to Burbank from Sacramento and Oakland landed safely Wednesday morning after being struck while approaching the airport amid heavy rains.

She says a flight attendant reported a pain in her arm and was hospitalized. No other injuries were reported.

The two Boeing 737s were taken out of service and passengers with continuing flights were put on other planes.

McInnis says all aircraft are built to withstand lightning strikes, which can occur during flights through stormy weather.

Cloud Lightning

US: Tornado Warning Issued in Los Angeles

Los Angeles - A storm moving through Central and Southern California has brought high winds, waves and lightning, prompting a tornado warning and pier closures.

Los Angeles County firefighters report minor street and building flooding in some areas of Los Angeles County on Tuesday but there are no reports of major damage or injuries.

Officials shut down piers in Ventura, Seal Beach, Hermosa Beach and Manhattan Beach because of 15-foot waves.

Bizarro Earth

Australia: Wild Thunderstorms Lash Victoria

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© Ben SwinnertonLightning lashed Melbourne for two consecutive nights.
Wild thunderstorms have lashed Victoria for the second night in a row, causing flooding and lightning to strike houses.

Areas northwest of Melbourne received up to 60mm of rain, while the storms also brought down trees and power lines.

Gisborne, about 50km northwest of Melbourne, was worst affected, with the State Emergency Service receiving more than 60 calls for flash flooding.

SES operations manager Tim Wiebusch said extra crews were needed to help clean up.

"The word back we've had from the crews is it's large storm water drains that aren't coping with the downpour,'' Mr Wiebusch said.

Bizarro Earth

Lightning Strikes Sleeping Woman

A woman has been taken to hospital after her house was struck by lightning in Melbourne's east last night.

She was sleeping in her home in Glencairn Avenue, Ringwood when the lightning struck about 10pm (AEDT).

The Metropolitan Fire Brigade's (MFB) Alan Hunter says the bolt hit the roof, travelled down into the house and into a wardrobe.

Bizarro Earth

Heavy Storm Kills 11 in Southern Brazil

A total of 11 people were killed due to the heavy rain that has been lashing southern Brazil since last week, authorities confirmed on Wednesday.

The most recent death occurred in the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul, when 45-year-old Luiz Alberto Carvalho Nene was struck by lightning.

On Wednesday, the towns of Cacapava do Sul, Cerrito and Manoel Viana in the state declared a state of emergency. So far, 48 of the 496 municipalities in Rio Grande do Sul have declared a state of emergency.

Over 14,000 people in Rio Grande do Sul had to leave their homes due to the floods, and a power cut affected almost 10,000 people in the state.