Electrical Storm

Cloud Strikes

Recent summers here in Sydney have often been cloudy and wet – and this summer is following the same blue-print. So there has not been much opportunity for astronomy – but when the storm arrived last night my instinct was to make the most of it.

This one seemed a bit strange because (i) it began not long after sunset and the light was a bit weird; (ii) it was mostly cloud to cloud strikes, a fair distance away, so there were many strikes but no thunderclaps; (iii) the lightning bolts which I imaged curiously seem to lack the usual jagged effect; and (iv) the sky was only partly cloudy and one of my later shots (first image below) even showed a cloud to cloud strike right next to a jet black night sky.

Thanks for looking and please click on any image below to view them in a full-size slideshow:

Images dated: 2022-01-15
Canon 60D with 50mm fixed lens.
© Roger Powell


  1. I always enjoy seeing these lightning images. The storms are such impressive phenomena.
    Instead of lightning, we got half a foot of snow this week. Today we plan to snowshoe before it gets wet and sticky. The temps are to get above freezing in the afternoon. By Thursday morning it is to be about -10˚ F.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’ve not been snowed on since I left England a long time ago. I don’t miss it, although sometimes I yearn for the photographic opportunities it can provide.

      -10˚ F seems quite cool to me, I don’t fancy that. Do you live on high ground?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Almost everything in this part of Iowa is between 600 and 800 ft above sea level. If you live near a river, flooding is an issue sometimes. Not for us. We are somewhere in the 700 ft level. We live in a cul de sac with a wooded area behind the house. We were back there today with our snowshoes. Hard work. Good exercise.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Cloud-to-cloud strikes are my favorite. They also sound different, probably because they’re way up there.

    No explanations for the lack of jagged effect, but, truthfully, they look normal to me.

    Is the jet-black sky not an indication that there are, in fact, clouds? It could be the lightning only illuminated the vicinity and didn’t penetrate to the other clouds.

    Just brainstorming, not claiming concrete explanations.

    It could also be the nature of thunderstorms; I notice more intense lightning at the forefront of storms.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Definitely clear sky. I could see the Pleiades to the left of it and the Orion constellation to the right, as clear as I’ve ever seen them from home.

      The cloud was a slow-moving cumulonimbus, like this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloud#/media/File:Typical_Lifecycle_of_a_Single_Cell_Thunderstorm.png

      In fact I realise now that both of my two red coloured images show clear sky around that massive cloud shape.

      Every storm is different but this one was more different.


      Liked by 1 person

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