Lightning that Changes Colors

Last summer, where I live in Northern New Jersey, I encountered a particularly violent thunderstorm.

I remember seeing one lightning bolt that was actually green, then in less then a second go from blue to purple before vanishing.

I've heard of green lightning occuring usually in severe thunderstorms. Why is that?

:?
 
Last summer, where I live in Northern New Jersey, I encountered a particularly violent thunderstorm.

I remember seeing one lightning bolt that was actually green, then in less then a second go from blue to purple before vanishing.

I've heard of green lightning occuring usually in severe thunderstorms. Why is that?

:?

I have seen this as well... It is caused by the lightning striking a metallic object. Depending on the type of metal, a different color will result. I believe steel will give the lightning a greenish color...
 
Lightning affected by rain

I beg to differ!! It all depends on the perspective of the looker to the lightning. If there is rain present or the strike bolt was in a rain/hail core, the moisture in the rain/hail shaft will diffuse the light spectrum that you see.

The same green color is seen in the clouds themselves, particularly in the base of some high altitude storms. The height of the clouds and the perspective of the looker will affect the sunlight filtering thru. And by the time the light gets thru the clouds and is seen by the looker, only the green/blue part of the color spectrum is left.

There is another thread somewhere that refers to green color and hail.
There was an interesting discussion about the relationship of seeing the green color in the clouds and seeing hail later.

66b13cccca3d4bf3312eeb2c3d68a8d2.gif
 
Re: Lightning affected by rain

I beg to differ!! It all depends on the perspective of the looker to the lightning. If there is rain present or the strike bolt was in a rain/hail core, the moisture in the rain/hail shaft will diffuse the light spectrum that you see.

The same green color is seen in the clouds themselves, particularly in the base of some high altitude storms. The height of the clouds and the perspective of the looker will affect the sunlight filtering thru. And by the time the light gets thru the clouds and is seen by the looker, only the green/blue part of the color spectrum is left.

There is another thread somewhere that refers to green color and hail.
There was an interesting discussion about the relationship of seeing the green color in the clouds and seeing hail later.

66b13cccca3d4bf3312eeb2c3d68a8d2.gif

True. I am not sure where I heard my theory, but the lightning I was referring to occured during the night. The lightning occured with a very thin band of convection along an intense cold front, and once the actual front blew through, the lightning became pretty intense for about 15 minutes. Most of the lightning was the usual white/blue color. I happen to live a few miles from a cell phone tower, and some other broadcasting tower, and when the lightning would strike these objects, it would turn the whole bolt green.
 
I heard various things over the years, from the amount of background light, the amount of moisture in the air, the different gases in the air, the lightning interacts with, different denisites, particulates, to name a few.

Mike
 
Distant lightning can appear orange, brown or yellow. As it gets closer, lightning becomes more blue and white in color. From a purely light spectrum perspective, lightning is white in color. Atmospheric conditions can filter the light (like a sunset) so it can appear in different colors to the viewer.

If there are multiple storms in the area, you might see several colors due to strikes being both close and far away.

Changing colors (particularly blue/green) during/after a strike are a result of an electrical flashover from the bolt hitting power lines.

One of my favorite lightning displays, the type that is high in the anvil of a supercell, can be deep blue in color!
 
you have smoke and other polutants at every level of the air, rain and hail shafts, temperature contrasts, and being "blinded by the light"

lots of reasons.
 
For whatever reason, we get alot of pink lightning down here. It is so pretty! Must be caused by all the ozone.....??

Pink lightning tends to occur in the evening and morning during low light levels.
 
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