ICYMI Oct 3… Hurricane Sprites/Extra Launches/Northern Lights/October Normals

Something strange this way comes… or shows up on a far away camera from a hurricane.

Hurricane Matthew is churning through the Caribbean,producing tons of rain with winds of 130 mph as it tracks to the north. On Saturday, it also produced a phenomena that is rarely caught on camera…. sprites!

Sprites are essentially lightning bolts that go out the top of a thunderstorm. They are usually weak and not often seen and are usually a red color.  They last a very short time and are hard to catch on camera. Which is why the fact that at least 28 of them were caught on camera on Saturday is an amazing feat!

There is a little more from The Weather Channel at this link.  More color photos on another post from The Weather Channel are here.


With the first Monday in the books, let’s look at the October averages and extremes for the month.


October ALO Almanac


October DBQ Almanac



Every 12 hours certain National Weather Service offices around the country send a balloon (radiosonde)  in the sky to gather valuable data. The stars on the map below show where the balloons are launched from.

After the data from the balloon is sent back to the office it is then put into computers to help with the forecast.  The idea is, the more current and reliable data you get into the calculations, the  forecast output (forecast information) would be closer to reality. Now because of Matthew, a large hurricane forecast to run up the east coast this week, they are putting more balloons in the sky. The sites along the east coast are launching  them every 6 hours. The map shows you the sites with the two extra launches per day.


Here is a view of Hurricane Matthew Monday from the International Space Station (ISS). The ISS is 250 miles above the storm.

4Below is the video as the ISS passes over the hurricane.  (video speed 4x)


Posted under Climate, Lightning, NASA, Space Station, Tropics

This post was written by Eileen Loan on October 3, 2016

ICYMI Sep 29…Balloon/Lightning/Spacecraft Selfie

Time-lapse image of NOAA weather balloon over the South Pole. Click here for more details about the photo.



On Sunday, woman was killed on a hiking trail after being struck by lightning in Austin, TX. She is the 36th person to die from a lightning strike. Click here to get more facts and figures about the lightning deaths this year.


The Rosetta spacecraft took at photo of a comet. You can call it either a “selfie” or the comet photobombed Rosetta as it was taking a photo. Either way it is a great image. Click here for the specifics on the photo.



Flooding during Tropical Storm Matthew in St. Lucia


Posted under Astronomy, Flooding, Lightning, Tropics

This post was written by Schnack on September 29, 2016

Lightning Destroys a Pole


Posted under Lightning, Video

This post was written by Schnack on July 25, 2016

Lightning Wednesday Night

The video and images below are just a few shared with us of a storm in southern Minnesota moving south into northern Iowa Wednesday night. The lightning was seen as far south as the Waterloo/Cedar Falls area. The storm fell apart when it moved into Iowa.
The video below  was taken at Decorah by Jordan Kjome.

The image below was taken by Rachel Reilly.

The image below was taken by Sarah King.


Posted under Lightning, Photo, Video

This post was written by Schnack on June 23, 2016

Lightning Wednesday Night

Showers and thunderstorms moved through eastern Iowa last night along a warm front. Here are some photos of the lightning in Waterloo.

6 7 8 9


Posted under Lightning, Photo

This post was written by Schnack on June 9, 2016

Lightning Safety

“When thunder roars, go indoors.”

This is a common saying when it comes to storm safety. The National Weather Service in La Crosse, Wisconsin tweeted this year’s statistics as of May 2, 2016:


More than 20 people died per year as a result of lightning in each of the past 10 years. The most fatalities during that period occurred in 2006, with a total of 48 people. Last year alone saw 27 deaths because of lightning strikes. The number of lightning fatalities has been nearly consistent the past five years:


This year’s fatalities so far have occurred in Mississippi, Florida and Louisiana. Last year, there was a total of two Iowa fatalities, one in May and one in June. On average, most of the deaths happen during the warm summer months – June, July and August.

For more information about lightning and safety tips, click here.


Posted under Lightning, Severe Weather, Uncategorized

This post was written by Kyle Kiel on May 4, 2016

Lightning in Slow Motion

Lightning is nothing to mess with, but when caught on video in slow motion it is also mesmerizing.  This video was taken in rural Benton County, Iowa, south of the town of Vinton by Danny Murphy on November 11, 2015.


Posted under Lightning, Video

This post was written by Schnack on November 12, 2015

Lightning Sunday

Here are a couple of photos of the lightning Sunday evening in Cedar Falls taken by Chelsea Eggleston.

1 2


Posted under Lightning, Photo

This post was written by Schnack on May 5, 2015

Straight Lightning

You don’t see this very often. This is very rare. The lightning strike is not “zig zag”.


Here is the still image.



Posted under Lightning, Video

This post was written by Schnack on March 18, 2015

Lightning Strike in Sweden





Click here to see the video.


Posted under Lightning

This post was written by Schnack on August 29, 2014