Date: 28-04-1998    Time: 20:45 BST
Macclesfield, Cheshire UK
Storm Stage: Developing - Mature - Dissipation
Path / Movement:
Developed overhead, matured 10-20 miles north / Northwards
Footage Quality:

Compared with T0009, this was an absolute beast. Good and bad news however; the bad being that it was several miles north where the thunder was in-audible, the good being it was late-evening / night-time so the lightning was clearly visible under the cloud-base.

It was substantially active considering it was a slow-moving mid-spring convectional cell. The air-mass was a tropical maritime flow, probably an old returning polar maritime, but streaming in very slowly giving any convection time to organise a cloud structure and charge itself. A cluster of storm cells were moving in at around 20:00 UTC whilst in their development stages. One of these cells was about 30 miles away East over the Pennines that showed prominent cell growth at the front leading-edge of the storm and a solid wedge-shaped anvil.

The developing cells quietly rolled over Macclesfield only giving a light shower in the form of large raindrops. A few minutes later after it had past to the north I heard a rumble of thunder. I had a look out of the window to analyse the horizon and saw a further lightning flash to the north. The base didnít look very structured nor did it appear to have much in the way of precipitation curtains, so initially I thought I was filming an inactive cell that fortunately gave a discharge on the off-chance. That was ruled out shortly after it started splashing C-G and C-C lightning all over the place. After a further two flashes I zoomed the camera right in to where I the lightning hotspot was so I wouldnít miss the detail.

As it was a slow-mover this storm was seen from Macclesfield to produce a rough total of 33 discharges as the storm matured spectacularly over parts of Stockport and southern Manchester. Thirty of these discharges were recorded on camera. Most of these discharges were visible C-G or C-Cs, sometimes accompanying each other. The discharges rates were somewhat uneven though, some quiet periods and some active periods. There were three distinct silences, as seen in the event guide, in this stormís activity before the lightning fired up again. This suggests the storm was a multicell with slow-rising or sporadic updraught pulses that gave bursts of energy to the parent cell, rather than a continuous updraught-front producing roughly the same lightning in the same place throughout the lifespan of the storm.

Although this storm was miles away on the horizon, it provided a good vision of what a sturdy thunderstorm looks like in action from a distance. It was quite eerie.

VISIBLE 28.04.1998 17:07

INFRARED 28.04.1998 17:07
COLOUR 28.04.1998 17:07