Quick and Rudlosky Explain Rogue Lightning Strike Over DC

ESSIC/CISESS scientists Mason Quick and Scott Rudlosky (SCSB) contributed to an article that ran in the Washington Post describing thunderstorm behavior and lightning.

In the piece, author Kevin Ambrose from the Capital Weather Gang investigates an unexpected lightning bolt that struck the ground near the Washington Monument last August.  Using Ambrose’s photo and timestamp, Quick and Rudlosky determined that this was a compact flash of negative lightning produced by a rapidly dissipating storm.  The flash was short but produced three ground contacts.

Quick states, “It’s important to note the lightning flash occurred about 10 minutes after the apparent end of the thunderstorm, a time period when an eager soccer coach may say that it is safe to play again.  Wait 30 minutes after the last lightning.”

To read the article and see an animated, 3-D graphic showing the position of the photographed lightning flash, click here: “A rogue lightning bolt struck D.C. in August. Scientists have now mapped it in 3-D.”