After some of the worst flooding in decades, Japan has experienced a punishing heatwave for much of July and August with temperatures soaring ever 41°C. Needless to say, many people lost their lives, and the impact of climate change is becoming ever more visceral.
Spending any considerable time outside has been unbearable so I spent much of the last two months cocooned in my air-conditioned apartment, only venturing out for a daily dip in the pool and to nip to the supermarket. Such are the perks of working from home.
Things came to a head last Monday (Aug 26) evening with one of the biggest storms I have ever witnessed. The barrage of thunder and lightning lasted for over an hour with the sound ricocheting continuously off buildings, amplifying its apocalyptic presence.
This thunderstorm displayed a textbook Cumulonimbus capillatus incus shape: a powerful convective updraft and a well-defined anvil at the top. It also produced an impressive ‘bolt from the blue’ lightning bolt: such a bolt starts in the updraft or even in the anvil and strikes out and away from the thunderstorm. This type of lightning bolt can strike up to ~30 km from the thunderstorm; the skies can be blue with hardly a sign of an ongoing thunderstorm, hence the name ‘bolt from the blue’.Severe Weather Europe
Several Twitter users captured jaw-dropping photos and videos of the event:
The changing weather looks set to drive sales of air-conditioners in places that haven’t
Top photo by KAGAYA.