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Lightning concludes 100 degree day

Denver skyline at noon, Jan. 2, 2010

Denver skyline at noon, Jan. 2, 2010

Several years ago I published this screenshot from a webcam focused on downtown Denver. I often refer to the camera just to see what’s going on down there, 18 miles to the south. With our rapidly changing weather, the skyline, and the mountains, the scene is constantly changing, and I can’t see any of it from my yard. With this camera, I get a beautiful full-screen view.

A few minutes ago, with audible thunderstorms moving in from that direction, I decided to check the camera. I expected to see storm clouds and the last minutes of sunset. Instead, I saw this:

“Startled” would be an understatement. I had no idea a webcam could catch a lightning bolt.

This is what happens when a cold front moves in after a 100° afternoon — heavy lightning across the metro and out onto the eastern plains. 12,000 strikes in the last hour, according to local news. Nice. It’s supposed to be 20° cooler tomorrow.

 

13 Comments »

  1. Wow, what timing! That detail shows how complex lightning can be for sure. Gotta wonder, looking at the cloudbase, the intense circle of bright light, the smaller bolts… was this a storm, or the mother ship stopping by? We are having a tstorm as well, but nothing like yours– thanks for sharing that cool image!

  2. Hoping this round from you is about over– no fancy lightning bolts. I hit the road in the morning & flash flooding all over this area till just before rush hour. Truly grateful for interstate highways– usually flooding isn’t an issue, so main roads only till good and light outside. We live on a nice hilltop, so if we flood, there had better be an ark nearby ready for boarding! Just cked radar & another cell moving in, but looks like St Louis is going to get hammered. We do need the rain. If only it could come an inch a day or so, rather than 3 and 4 inches per storm…. G’night, PT 🙂

    • With apologies to my dog, I love a good thunderstorm. I do respect the lightning though. I think Colo. has more lightning deaths than any other state.

      • Yep, I loved watching them out across the valley in Utah, too. I would bet my pup wouldn’t any more than yours does. She gets pretty upset at the firecrackers.

  3. WOW. Striking view…I mean strangely beautiful from a safe distance. Didn’t realize so many died from lightning there – they do always warn you to get off the peaks before the afternoon storms…(or that’s how I dragged people out of bed really early)
    Molly is totally unfazed by thunder or storms. Trying to show us she’s ready for mts and cooler weather?

    • LOL, yes, striking.

      It’s a huge hazard here, if only because we’re a mile higher than coastal areas. And of course in the mountains it’s dangerous. A few years ago, it struck and killed a motorcyclist traveling on the Denver-Boulder turnpike. That was just plain freaky.

      Glad Molly isn’t bothered by it. Annie hides under/behind the TV.

      And btw, currently it’s 63 degrees and cloudy here. Nice! Oklahoma wasn’t capable of such cooldowns in the summer.

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