Supercell bolt from the blue by Axel Guibourg

After I watched another supercell during that evening, a new storm arrived with a trajectory about ten kilometers further north. So I took the direction of Digoin.

The roads were white due to the hail that fell during the last salvo, and green due to the tree branches broken by the heaviness of the ice. When arrived on site, the mesocyclone was visible. With nightfall, I could afford to take semi-long exposures, of one to two seconds with my camera. 

Suddenly, a violent flash followed by a huge clap of thunder. I haven’t seen the lightning, but it must have fallen a few hundred metres behind me. It is surely a bolt from the blue, the precipitating zone being about ten kilometres to the west. 

Then new lightning this time, in front of me. In the picture it is slightly drowned out in the rain, but I’m happy. But a minute later, the absolute holy grail. A majestic bifid and branched bolt from the blue struck again in front of me and in front of the mesocyclone. The deafening sound of thunder followed. The impacts must have fallen 900 metres from my position.

As it approached, the supercell again presented a consistent wall cloud, but broke down as it arrived above me. Aft, another storm cell followed. It was currently on Vichy, which has experienced giant hailstones, around 8 cm, and which is causing colossal damage to the bodywork, roofs and agricultural plots… I will migrate slightly to the south to intercept it.

Taken on June 4, 2022.

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