Close Lightning Strike
Taken by Peter Lowenstein on February 17, 2018 @ Murambi, Mutare
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At lunchtime on Saturday 17 February, Mutare experienced one of the many rainy season thunderstorms that break out at that time of day. It was preceded by strong winds, rows of ominous mammatus clouds approaching from the north-west and was accompanied by 14 mm (half an inch) of rain. As I was recording the receding storm from my house overlooking Murambi suburb, a single very brief but intense lightning bolt descended dead center in the field of view of my hand-held Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ 60 camera (see accompanying time-lapse animation and three stills). It struck within the canopy of trees in a neighboring street less than 500 meters away and produced a very loud report. A telephone call the next day to a friend who lives in that street revealed it was their house that had been struck. Fortunately it has lightning conductors, all electrical equipment had been switched off and no damage was done. A spectacular video with slow motion replays has been posted at

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