Recent summers have not produced many big thunderstorms here in Leicester but the weather appeared to have recognised this oversight and deemed our city worthy of one of the most spectacular lightening displays in years.
On Saturday 5th June 2010 St Peters Neighbourhood Monitoring turned our cameras temporarily from monitoring crime and anti social behaviour in the streets and walkways of St Peters and Highfields to the the rare electric display in sky over our city.
Nuclear illuminated city and an earth splitting crack that left ears ringing
At about 22:20 the moonless pitch black night sky began to show flashes of distant lightening as what appeared at first to be a standard British summer storm moving in after a hot summer day.
Over the next hour the character of the storm changed. With increasing electrification the storm really began to let rip with huge artillery like barrages of thunder bearing down on our East Midlands city.
At one point a huge bolt of lightening was seen to descend towards the 70 metre high district heating plant chimney in St Peters from where it appeared to split up and fly off in all directions with an truly earth splitting crack that set off nearby car alarms leaving ears ringing and making those who heard it jump out of our skins.
Even the air itself smelt different like you could smell the ions and charged particles amongst the rain that came down washing the Icelandic volcano dust off buildings, windows and vehicles. We lost count of how many ground strikes we observed but there were dozens or even scores of them along Leicester’s entire horizon.
And to prove that not even the lightening was too fast to evade our equipment we captured these truly stunning photographs for you.
More images to come…
We used two cameras to capture the electric storm. The photo’s shown above from just one of our camera’s.
We expect to be able to bring you more spectacular images from the other camera that was pointing in a slightly different direction and can’t wait to see what we have captured on it.