September 3, 2013

Heat Lightning

It was around 11 in the evening when I noticed, from my peripheral sight, a spark from the outside of the window. At first I thought someone was taking a photo so I checked. I then realized that it's just a lightning but without thunder, which was weird. I grabbed my camera and went to the third floor to capture a full sight. It was kind of creepy and beautiful in a weird way; the neighborhood was quiet, felt cold wind, the sea was calm and there was heat lightning.

I did not know it's called heat lightning until I researched about it. It's the first time I've seen such phenomenon so I was quite amazed. Or maybe I have taken a glance of it for years and only keen enough to know all about it now? I am used to thunderstorms so I was just curious about the absence of thunder. So I researched... from what I have read, heat lightning happens usually on humid warm nights. You won't hear any sound accompanying it but "if you are listening to an AM radio, you’ll hear crackles of static at the same time you see the flash." (1)

It actually is a distant thunderstorm so there is absence of sound. "The distribution of hot and cold temperatures around a thunderstorm causes sound waves to be bent, or refracted, upward into the sky rather than toward the ground where an observer may be listening. Sometimes the distribution of temperature is so great that any sounds being generated from a thunderstorm pass much too high in the sky to be heard by the human ear." (2)

So that explains it. It's just a normal lightning and thunder phenomena but since they are happening from a distance, the sound gets lesser from my place compared to the exact place where the thunderstorm is (and nearby places). You may wonder why I care to talk about it so much. First, in the recent years, natural occurrences capture my curiosity quickly and that is because bad natural occurrences kept on happening around the world. Second, I want to be an astronomer. Third, I enjoy watching Ancient Aliens! (I admit I imagined something would appear behind those thick clouds while watching it.) Hahaha Earth, despite all the weird, beautiful, and tragic things you do to yourself, you are still amazing.

(1) McLeod, Jaime. "What Is Heat Lightning?". Farmer's Almanac website.
(2) "Heat Lightning A Myth?". Accuweather website.


  1. Anonymous1:29 PM

    Great that you managed to capture it on video - one has to see it to believe it. It looks very arty; like something I would expect to see in an art gallery, except that this is not "art"ificial.

    1. Right, it looks artsy and haunting and beautiful~ For some it might just be a normal thing but I find it amazing.


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