Horizontal Lightning

Horizontal Lightning

According to Nasa, horizontal lightning, also known as intracloud, usually occurs within clouds high in the atmosphere.

Photography by Carsten Peter

Guided by the laptop weather map reflected in his window, Tim Samaras rushes to catch up to a dying thunderstorm.
He hopes to be the first to photograph the split-second event that triggers a lightning strike.

Photography by Carsten Peter

Horizontal, cloud-to-cloud lightning bolts—called anvil crawlers, for their tendency to “crawl” along the
bottom of anvil-shaped storm clouds—light up the sky near Greensburg, Kansas.

Photography by Carsten Peter

A ground fire ignited by a lightning storm near Elephant Butte, New Mexico, paints the horizon with brown smoke.
At right, another cloud-to-ground strike flashes through a shaft of rain.

Photography by Carsten Peter

Back on the highway with the Kahuna in tow, Samaras hunts for the elusive shot.
This summer he's on the chase again, with new, nimbler equipment.

Cloud flashes sometimes have visible channels that extend out into the air around the storm (cloud-to-air or CA),
but do not strike the ground. The terms sheet lightning or intra-cloud lightning (IC) refers to lightning embedded
within a cloud that lights up as a sheet of luminosity during the flash. A related term, heat lightning, is lightning or lightning-induced
illumination that is too far away for thunder to be heard.

Spider lightning refers to long, horizontally traveling flashes often seen on the underside of stratiform clouds.

Cloud to air

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