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Published on Jun 2, 2017

Amazing lightning filling the sky and caught on camera in slow motion. This extremely unique storm event generated hundreds of anvil crawler lightning discharges unlike any storm I've ever witnessed. NOT FOR REBROADCAST. Copyright Hank Schyma 2017. To license video contact hankschyma@gmail.com

Specific conditions made this storm extremely special. Anvil Crawler lighting, also know as spider lightning is not uncommon, However because they occurs at such high altitudes, there’s usually low level clouds and rain hiding them from view. It takes special cloud and rain free conditions near a powerful thunderstorm to reveal them to you.

Anvil crawler lightning behaves different then typically observed cloud to ground lightning strikes. They propagate slower and horizontally. In a typical lightning strike, leaders move too fast for the human eye to detect. But in anvil crawler lightning, you can actually see the leaders searching for opposite charged regions of the cloud to connect to.

Slow motion video helps reveal that anvil crawlers are comprised of two main events. First, leaders typically growing and branching out horizontally followed by return strokes, the flickering solid line discharges. Some anvil crawlers are conjoined with a cloud to ground lightning strike and others remain completely intra-cloud.

One particular capture from this evening is extra special! From the top of a small mountain pointing the camera straight up I recorded the birth of an anvil crawler. This rare close proximity to the camera, slow motion documentation brought to light a phenomenon I’ve never witnessed in such detail. The increased luminosity of the leader tips appearing like blue headlights searching along dark windy highways.

When a thunderstorm explodes in our troposphere, it can only rise so far before hitting a ceiling. We call this the tropopause. The updraft then spreads outward like smoke under a table. From a distance, the storm takes on the appearance of an anvil. So we call the spreading flat top of a cumulonimbus an anvil cloud.

From above, Anvil clouds can flare out covering entire states. Underneath, the are often garnished with mammatus clouds and set the stage for spectacular sunsets. It’s here where Anvil crawler lightning does what the name implies.

"Like Spinning Plates" written by some of the dudes in Radiohead.
"Prelude in C# Minor" by Rachmaninov
Performed by Pecos Hank

"Angel's Serenade" by Southern Backtones

Comments • 1,074

Stewart Gartland
Stewart Gartland2 years agoHighlighted comment
The Pecos Hank channel of meteorological art😁
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Pablo Rodriguez
Pinned by Pecos Hank
I know Hank won't see this, but keep up the good work man.
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Trash Rabbit, Duke of Bad Habits, Shellac Addict
Anvil crawlers are easily my favorite type of lightning formation. I imagine them as the veins of the storm, sending its brilliant energy throughout for all to see!
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Tony Chavez
It's like clouds have brains and they have a terrible headache.
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You have THE BEST storm channel. ..EVER!!
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SM Ramyrez
The piano made it so beautiful , good job
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my friend. i dont do thumbsups on videos. only in rare situations. beautiful footage, high quality, nice voice over and guided by your own piano music. i MUST thumsup. respect!
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AH YOU DID THE MUSIC! that was surprising that just makes you even cooler
Izzie Pearce
This is absolutely beautiful 😍,with some nice useful facts ❤😅
⚡Beautiful and breathtaking ⚡
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