Date: 02-07-2006
Time: 16:50 BST
Macclesfield, Cheshire UK
Type: Explosive Multicell
Documented by: Mark Seltzer
Equipment: Samsung VP-H65 Video Camera
Fujifilm FinePix A310 Digital Camera
Footage Quality:

Storm Statistics: T0061.doc
Event Timeline: T0061events.xls

This storm was the storm that devastated Manchester with floods and severe lightning on the 2nd July 2006. It was in its developing stages as I documented it. This was irritating for me in that everything seemed to be occurring around Macclesfield within a 10 mile radius, yet I had no vehicle at my disposal to venture out with. There were cells developing very quickly in the heat of the afternoon, sparked off by a dormant convective trough that earlier produced some large storms across the South West. The cells were just positioned 10 miles west of Macclesfield and the developing towers and thunderheads were clearly seen (although very washy due to the high humidity in the atmosphere). Some of the following images are enhanced and the red one has a filter over the lens.

A first cell passed to the west and gave out a few odd distant thunders as it progressed towards Manchester, and then a second cell approached from the south.

A rapidly developing updraft front was spotted mid-birth to the West, and had the appearance of a mesocyclone with shooting scud clouds. This would have been one of the fuel lines for the intense cells that hit Manchester in succession as it progressed northwards. The skies went really black in the Manchester direction as the development continued.


The second cell actually went right overhead but the core was positioned a few miles to the southeast as it pulsated northeast over the Pennines. Much of the rain was also dumped to the east of Macclesfield and only a couple of close C-Gs were dropped nearby. The heavy rain and high humidity hid the I-C and C-C lightning well if there was any, as I couldn’t tell where the lightning was occurring at all!

As the storm left the overhanging thunderhead lingered for at least an hour as cells continued to develop over the Pennines to the East. Meanwhile Manchester saw the worst of this storm with persistent torrential rain causing widespread flooding, and in places there was marble sized hail and lightning powerful enough to blow someone’s roof apart. The satellite images show clearly how explosive the development of this storm was, however with these types of storms the main cores are always very local.

Another key feature was spotted as the storm left Macclesfield, a strong outflow current was spotted on the North West horizon with ground-level cloud rolling in the direction away from the storm (south westerly direction). This lasted for about 10 minutes before vanishing.

As always the sunset shot is a popular one after a storm, and often the most magnificent.