Rudlosky and Quick Explain Large Tidal Basin Lightning Bolt

Last week, SCSB’s Scott Rudlosky and ESSIC/CISESS Scientist Mason Quick contributed to a Washington Post article that detailed a lightning flash across the Tidal Basin.

The author, a member of the Capital Weather Gang, sought out Rudlosky to research the size and location of the flash using data from the D.C. Lightning Mapping Array (DCLMA).  Using sensors that monitor lightning’s very high frequency radio waves, the DCLMA provides detailed insight into the structure and evolution of convective storms to help forecast severe weather.

Using the video’s time stamp, Quick was able to locate the lightning flash in the DCLMA data.  He found that the lightning flash produced 709 impulses and extended nearly 15.5 miles.  Quick also produced three-dimensional and two-dimensional imagery of the flash.

Rudlosky is a SCSB/STAR/NESDIS/NOAA visiting associate research scientist working in collaboration with ESSIC/CISESS.  He also serves on the National Weather Service (NWS) Lightning Safety Awareness Team and the NWS Total Lightning Implementation Working Group.

To read the article, click here: “More to lightning than meets the eye: This Tidal Basin bolt expanded 15.5 miles across the sky”.