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Misattributed/possibly fake volcanic lightning image of Volcan de Fuego

Discussion in 'Weather In The News' started by Dan Robinson, Jun 5, 2018.

  1. Dan Robinson

    Dan Robinson WxLibrary Editor
    Staff Member

    Jan 14, 2011
    Likes Received:

    This image is circulating around today purporting to be from this week's eruption of Guatemala's Volcan de Fuego.

    There are two problems with the image. First, the link above is to its first known posting in July of 2017, meaning it could not have been from this week's eruption.

    The bigger problem is that this type of lightning (upward moving) purely from an erupting volcano would be physically impossible. Upward lightning requires an expansive electrified cloud above the initiating point. The only way for this picture to be genuine is if there were a thunderstorm overhead at the time, in which case the lightning would not be truly volcanic, but a normal thunderstorm-driven upward flash from the mountain peak.

    Viewer/sharer be aware.....
  2. Alex Elmore

    Dec 14, 2015
    Likes Received:
    Good observations. Also, some of the branches fade in and out as if they were being blocked from view by rain or clouds, but in what appears to be perfectly clear skies in this photo.

    On an unrelated note, the poster spelled lightning as "lightening", which is one of my greatest pet peeves :mad:.
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