Forums > Kitesurfing General

Lightning striking nearby

Created by ianmac > 9 months ago, 11 Dec 2008
ianmac
WA, 265 posts
> 9 months ago, 11 Dec 2008 09:18
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time for a good reminder, we were kiting last night near cott at about 5.30pm and a front went past with dark clouds, it was blue sky above us and it looked like it was maybe 200-400 mtrs from us so no real concern WRONG!
I felt a substantual tingle go through my arms twice, over a 20sec period & thought i have buggered my back. after going into shore, my mate had the same experience we then worked out, we were receving some sort of electrical discharge from the front that went past us,,would not like to caught out in a flat out storm front, im thinking you are better than good chance you will be a crispy critter Big time

Mr float
NSW, 3452 posts
> 9 months ago, 11 Dec 2008 11:23
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Interesting one here a few days ago .Storm approaching.Some higher darkish cloud above us but main part of the storm still 20 km to the west .Also checked radar and lightning tracker before i went out and indicated 1 hr session should be in order .
After 5 mins bang ,didn't see the strike but it must have been close .Usually get the tingles prior to the main activity or a static crack on landing a jump.None of that .
2 of us came straight in .Two temporary Australians continued to kite and came in after about 5 mins and stood on the beach with kites at noon for another 5 mins and finally put kites down

ianmac
WA, 265 posts
> 9 months ago, 11 Dec 2008 09:33
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Mr float said...

Interesting one here a few days ago .Storm approaching.Some higher darkish cloud above us but main part of the storm still 20 km to the west .Also checked radar and lightning tracker before i went out and indicated 1 hr session should be in order .
After 5 mins bang ,didn't see the strike but it must have been close .Usually get the tingles prior to the main activity or a static crack on landing a jump.None of that .
2 of us came straight in .Two temporary Australians continued to kite and came in after about 5 mins and stood on the beach with kites at noon for another 5 mins and finally put kites down


so do you get some static activity prior to the front passing ????, can you send me any info on lighting the lightning tracker

Slack
WA, 595 posts
> 9 months ago, 11 Dec 2008 09:48
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ianmac said...

time for a good reminder, we were kiting last night near cott at about 5.30pm and a front went past with dark clouds, it was blue sky above us and it looked like it was maybe 200-400 mtrs from us so no real concern WRONG!
I felt a substantual tingle go through my arms twice, over a 20sec period & thought i have buggered my back. after going into shore, my mate had the same experience we then worked out, we were receving some sort of electrical discharge from the front that went past us,,would not like to caught out in a flat out storm front, im thinking you are better than good chance you will be a crispy critter Big time



Macca I wasn't in any doubt I'd been zapped by the lightning. Last time I felt a shock like that I was under the bonnet holding a spark plug to the engine block while a mate turned the engine over.

the gaz
WA, 171 posts
> 9 months ago, 11 Dec 2008 10:15
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I bet your head hit the bonnet, ha ha ha

elmo
WA, 7534 posts
> 9 months ago, 11 Dec 2008 10:28
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If you can hear it fear it
If you can see it flee it

Good rules for lightening, have a read of some articles on it, there have been people hit where the clouds are 10km's away.

Also

Quite a bit of lightening (I think) starts as a static charge from the ground then the bolt comes from the cloud, your kites put that charge a bit higher up in the air.

I've got to admit much as I like watching lightening, I hide in my car when it's near

TheChad
QLD, 142 posts
> 9 months ago, 11 Dec 2008 12:08
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elmo said...

If you can hear it fear it
If you can see it flee it

Good rules for lightening, have a read of some articles on it, there have been people hit where the clouds are 10km's away.

Also

Quite a bit of lightening (I think) starts as a static charge from the ground then the bolt comes from the cloud, your kites put that charge a bit higher up in the air.

I've got to admit much as I like watching lightening, I hide in my car when it's near


Yeah thats quite true, that tingle feeling is a leader heading upwards from the ground, it's when those leaders arc with the ones coming down that you get fork lightning.

Although in this case it could perhaps be the kite flying through the air that has created the static energy that was felt, perhaps because of the atmospheric conditions

Mr float
NSW, 3452 posts
> 9 months ago, 11 Dec 2008 13:29
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nah no static ,,strange ,just BANG


ianmac said...

Mr float said...

Interesting one here a few days ago .Storm approaching.Some higher darkish cloud above us but main part of the storm still 20 km to the west .Also checked radar and lightning tracker before i went out and indicated 1 hr session should be in order .
After 5 mins bang ,didn't see the strike but it must have been close .Usually get the tingles prior to the main activity or a static crack on landing a jump.None of that .
2 of us came straight in .Two temporary Australians continued to kite and came in after about 5 mins and stood on the beach with kites at noon for another 5 mins and finally put kites down


so do you get some static activity prior to the front passing ????, can you send me any info on lighting the lightning tracker


greenleader
QLD, 4959 posts
> 9 months ago, 11 Dec 2008 19:49
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info.energex.com.au/tracker/asp/lightningtracker.asp

Aiolus
NSW, 102 posts
> 9 months ago, 11 Dec 2008 21:59
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Taking photos of lightning is a hobby of mine, here are some more lightning links, most of which are run by people with lightning detectors connected to the internet.

Australia: (Subscribe to zoom in much further)
www.weatherzone.com.au/stormtracker.jsp?lt=wzstate&lc=

Australia and NZ
www.sphere.net.au/strikestarau/

Brisbane/Gold&Sunshine Coasts & Nth NSW
noisemapping.com.au/lightning/stormvue.html

Melbourne & 300km surrounding area
www.vk3csj.com/Dandenong.html

Cairns & Nth Qld
www.gorgecreekorchards.com.au/StormVue.html

Southern NSW
www.conder-act.com/weather/StormVue_Frame.html

Sydney
wxdata.ath.cx/lightning/StormVue.html

And here is a photo I took out my back door








Juddy
WA, 979 posts
> 9 months ago, 12 Dec 2008 11:00
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here's a question for the scientists/meteorologists amongst you...

we all know that water conducts electricity, and sea/salt water even more so than fresh water.

what is the distance from where a bolt of lightning hits open ocean to where a person can be swimming for example, so that they don't get electrocuted? I.e. if I'm swimming at Leighton & see a bolt of lightning out at Rottnest (approx 18 k's off the coast) how close can I be before I'm bbq'd???

and what happens to all the fish in the water near where the bolt hits? is it a case of electrocuted fish just waiting to be netted by some lucky fisho???

Coose
VIC, 229 posts
> 9 months ago, 12 Dec 2008 13:42
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Lightning striking ground can still be dangerous over 100 feet from where it struck. Some believe lightning will go even further in water, because it's a conductor. But lightning in ground often spreads out in 'ground streamers', quasi-radial tendrils of electricity, which allows it to go farther than if it was dissipating uniforming. Some believe lightning is less likely to form these streamers in water, dissipating more uniformly. So the total area affected may be larger than on land, because water is a better conductor, but the distance it remains dangerous may be less, since it may not form ground (sic) streamers. However, I'm extremely confident that "6 feet to the post" is insanely inadequate for safety. At that distance, you're in danger of a lightning 'side flash' from the post through the air to you, even before it finds the water. General lightning safety guidance uses 6 miles as a reasonable compromise between safety and lifestyle impact.

colinwill78
VIC, 1395 posts
> 9 months ago, 12 Dec 2008 13:46
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"I couldn't stop shaking. I s--t myself," said Newitt, who returned to the mounting yard in a hurry.

"I was only a few metres away from the rail when the lightning hit. I could taste it, that's how close it was. As soon as it hit, you could smell it. It was scary."

It was the second time this month lightning has struck the Victorian racing industry.

Promising sprinter Sunburnt Land was killed by a bolt of lightning on a property at Romsey during a storm on November 14."

a few meters, he lived.

Aiolus
NSW, 102 posts
> 9 months ago, 12 Dec 2008 15:24
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This strike was about 200m away from me ... scared the you know what from me ..



colinwill78
VIC, 1395 posts
> 9 months ago, 12 Dec 2008 16:25
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www.northauschasers.com/Stormvue/StormVue.html

found the Darwin one.
This should light up like a christmas tree most afternoons for the next 3-4 months.

andrewob
28 posts
> 9 months ago, 12 Dec 2008 18:54
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If you were in the water when the lightning hit near you, I think you'd be fine. The static discharge is looking for the shortest path to earth. Since you are in the water, you don't present a lower resistance path so it's unlikely you'd feel anything except a mild tingle.

Having said that, if the lightning chose to strike you on the arm or head and go through that part of you to the water, it could hurt a bit more...

Smasher
NSW, 59 posts
> 9 months ago, 13 Dec 2008 14:00
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Elmo has got the right idea.

If there is ANY sign there might be electrical activity nearby get off the water. Your kite is building up electrical charge all the time and the first bolt from a storm or front could well be through your nice wet kite down the highly conductive lines and through you.

I saw a guy get zapped on Botany Bay a few years back and actually saw the arc come out his back. There was a big line of storms coming but they were over 10km away. His kite must have built up enough charge and he disharged down through the water. It was not a lightning strike as such but a big dishcharge that was so bright we could see it from the shore. The pain wiped him out and and we thought we were going to have to rescue him.

I have been struck by lightning in aeroplanes several times. The worst was when we were over 35km away from a cell.(That is not a typo 20nm - 35km) It was big and active and we thought we were a safe distance away. Not so - we still got hit by the mother of all ligtning bolts and by the time we left the the airport they had found 12 exit burn holes in the skin and were still counting.

I would hate to think what even a small bolt could do to a person attached to a big kite.

If you can hear, smell or feel a storm coming get off the water. By the time the first bolts of lightning are coming down you have already left it too late.

ianmac
WA, 265 posts
> 9 months ago, 13 Dec 2008 15:42
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i think the new correct strategy is,,,, any thing that mildly looks like containing a potential elect storm just bail well before the clouds are even there

other wise crispy critter status will be upon you !!!

Mr float
NSW, 3452 posts
> 9 months ago, 13 Dec 2008 19:09
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Aiolus said...

This strike was about 200m away from me ... scared the you know what from me ..






Is that gerroa? It looks exactly like the view from some fiends who lived there until a couple of years ago

Aiolus
NSW, 102 posts
> 9 months ago, 13 Dec 2008 21:30
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Mr float said...

Aiolus said...

This strike was about 200m away from me ... scared the you know what from me ..



Is that gerroa? It looks exactly like the view from some fiends who lived there until a couple of years ago


Yeap it's Gerroa, just down from the Boat Fishermans Club ...

h20fly
WA, 384 posts
> 9 months ago, 14 Dec 2008 00:54
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i was out last week there were some menacing dark blue clouds around but no thunder or lighting but it seems your lines pick up static electricity every time i jumped, and landed i felt this funny tingel on my feet and hands.. it took me a while to figure out what it was... then i put down my kite rather quickly

geoffnotdead
33 posts
> 9 months ago, 14 Dec 2008 01:43
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I was in a pub that got hit a few years ago.... Saw the storm coming and told my buddies we should go inside. Lots of people stayed out on the terrace. Strike hit just as a waitress walked through the door with a fully laden tray of beers... white light like a nuke, huge BOOOOM and the beers went in high parabolic ...
5 min´s later the barman came down from checking his flat over the bar swearing `cos his new tv had got zapped...

madsailor
QLD, 71 posts
> 9 months ago, 12 Jan 2009 12:25
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Protection ?
ok apart from the obvious, (getting off the water and pulling your kite down, if there is any sign of a storm cell)

is there any other way you can protect yourself ?

e.g.: is there something you could attach to your lines, close to the kite end, to prevent static from coming down the lines to you ?

sandgroper
WA, 368 posts
> 9 months ago, 12 Jan 2009 14:41
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andrewob said...

If you were in the water when the lightning hit near you, I think you'd be fine. The static discharge is looking for the shortest path to earth. Since you are in the water, you don't present a lower resistance path so it's unlikely you'd feel anything except a mild tingle.

Having said that, if the lightning chose to strike you on the arm or head and go through that part of you to the water, it could hurt a bit more...


"Tingles" come from AC. Lightening is DC. You will feel any static discharge that connects to you that is over about 2000V which equates to the same charge from pulling off a jumper. Lightening is Teravolts ++.

Lightening should dissipate semi-spherically in (under) seawater due to the high salt content. In fresh water its a different caper. If its just been raining in a lake it may continue to form spikes underwater to the next nearest discharge point - which could be you.

My advice, if lightening is around, get your kite down pronto (safety release) and get out of the water - in that order if possible.

Lightening kills more people each year than sharks.



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"Lightning striking nearby" started by ianmac