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Chase July 29 2000

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Route:Soest - Amersfoort
Chasepartner(s):--


CHASE LOG:
A small trough in the upper air in combination with moist and relatively warm air at lower levels caused great convection. Near Soest I observed the first lightning activity just before noon. I drove into the fields between Soest and Amersfoort to observe it a bit closer. First it was only distant rumbling with some nice CG's. At about 13 LT a storm formed just over my head. It exploded! From out of nowhere it started rainig like hell and CG's struck everywhere. WOW! I filmed the activity with my car window open. At a certain time I thought lightning struck my car, but when I later saw the shot at home, it was a bright purple flash, followed by 2 "electrical balls". I think it had something to do with the railway power cables.
At about 15 LT I went back to the field again. Lightning was more to the south and not as close as before. I was just at the edge of convection, because in the west I saw clear blue skies, while in the south and east thunderstorms where dominant. Above my head great mammatuscloud formed. After a while I saw some smoke coming out of the trees to the southwest, from Soest. The fire became bigger and bigger and the firebrigade rushed towards the scene. Later on I discovered that a 200 year old farmhouse burned to the ground because of a lightningstrike.
At 17 LT all stormactivity had ceased near Soest. A local weather amateur reported 63 mm of rain from these storms. Oh what a day! It was certainly one of the most active electrical storms I witnessed in the last couple of years.


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© 2001 Bernard Hulshof