May 28th, 2018

I had something planned for the thunderstorm of 26 May. It had been announced on the weather forecast and expected to be quite heavy, so I was ready. Even then, the results surprised me.

While I left my recorder upstairs capturing the storm in audio, I went to locate my pocket shortwave radio and fed him some batteries. Then I went back upstairs, connected the radio to the recorder and to my headphones.
If you have a shortwave radio, I definitely recommend this.
IF you don't, you can probably buy one for little more than £5 on ebay or Amazon...

At some points in the recording, you will hear that I switch bands. My radio has FM, LW (long-wave), MW (medium-wave)and 7 bands of SW (short-wave).
Looked for an empty frequency and listenned to the interference (pops, cracks and 'explosions' created by the lightening).
Medium-wave is good, short-wave is usually better (different bands gave different results) but were generally the best. LW was usually not very good (the lightnening interference was the faintest on this band) and FM was useless (could not hear any lightning interference there this time, although I have heard it during other thunderstorms at times).

The density of events (number of individual lightening strikes). At times I could hear more than 40 events in 1 min.
The combination of listening to these events on the headphones with the light show in the sky is remarkable! Especially because the size of the visible flash does not always correlate with the radio burst. A more distant lightning, or one that is obscured by clouds or terrain features can surprise you with a massive burst.
Also, as you may know and likely have seen youserlf, a lightening strike is often not unique - you can see the ray pulsating a few times fery fast before extinguishing itself, as electrons buss back and forth several times. - You acn hear this effect (and see it at the same time), as most bursts present a 'crackle' rather than a single 'pop'.


  • avatar
    gis_sweden 2 years, 2 months ago

    interesting :-)


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