Date: 18-05-1997    Time: 03:35 BST
Macclesfield, Cheshire UK
Storm Stage: Mature
Path / Movement:
1 mile north / NW

Footage Quality:

This was a relatively strong frontal storm. Judging from the TV forecasts during the day I was expecting the storm to come sometime overnight but I didnít know exactly when. So I left the windows open and hoped that any thunder would wake me up. Luckily it did wake me up at 03:35 in the morning. As I was in my deep sleep it did indeed take a couple more thunders to convince me that I wasnít hearing things. Then I finally flung myself out of bed and started up the camera.

There were a few C-Gís at the beginning of the storm, one of which I missed off-camera about 4 fifths of a mile away which gave a fantastic crackling thunder. A bit later on as the storm moved in there was a C-G multi-strike (about 3 at once) where 2 of them were about 3 fifths of a mile away and the other one was about 2 miles away judging off the thunders. The one that was 2 miles away was caught on camera but I missed the other two. The storm seemed to be skimming Macclesfield to the north as it travelled northwest-wards from the southeast. This meant the precipitation core wasn't over the observing point, making the thunder sound very crispy and clear as it wasn't being drowned out by the noise of the precipitation. It also gave it a slight supernatural feel to the storm.

Whilst all this was happening, in between were faint but overhead flickers of thunder-less lightning that weren't picked up on camera for being too faint. These I believed to be upper-anvil flashes or flashes from neighbouring storms and they were quite frequent; sometimes 1 per second. As this was only my second storm on camera, and first night-time storm, I foolishly had the camera in the wrong mode for night-time shooting. This was always going to be the case as I hadn't shot lightning in the dark before. So the lightning didnít show up as well as it should have in the footage. Putting it in the correct mode would have also uncovered the faint upper-cloud lightning from inside the anvil.

The storm continued towards Manchester and the rest of the northwest region giving distant I-C lightning lighting up the cloud base in the distance.

VISIBLE 17.05.1997 17:03

INFRARED 17.05.1997 17:03
COLOUR 17.05.1997 17:03

INFRARED 18.05.1997 03:25

VISIBLE 18.05.1997 06:52
COLOUR 18.05.1997 06:52