Monday, July 16, 2007

Sunday night 15-16 July: 22 sprites from Toulouse

From my balcony in Toulouse 22 sprites were recorded last night over a large thunderstorm complex situated over eastern Bretagne. Between 2133-2231 the storm produced 19 sprites (one every 3 minutes on average), after that a band of clouds silently blocked the view in that direction, while Météorage data showed that many positive lightning strikes still occurred. One very distant sprite was recorded again after one hour, but conditions improved only later (after 0030 UT? absence of distant clouds is very difficult to determine). Without the clouds, at the same rate of sprite production up to a total of 40 sprites might have been observed!
Several events consisted of sprites separated by a relatively long interval of a few hundred milliseconds, occurring over different parts of the MCS.

Forecast update Tuesday 17/7: Storms are likely in the early evening over Massif Central, but when it becomes dark instability disappears fairly quickly... at 21Z when it becomes dark, remaing activity over the Jura, at 00Z farther away...
After 03Z in the early morning instability develops over SW-central France with again chance of storms into the early evening over Massif Central, a bit better than tonight, but the big night is that of Thursday-Friday. So, only marginal possibilities for the coming two nights.


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