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No. 50: Mar-Apr 1987

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Ball Lightning Burns A Rayed Circle On A Shed Wall

B. Evans sent the following account to the Editor of the Journal of Meteorology:

"Your report of 26th August (1986) about the mysterious five circles which appeared in cornfields near Devil's Punchbowl, near Winchester -- the largest being 42 feet across -- reminded me of an incident during the night shift in 1980 at Shotton steelworks.

"A high wind was followed by a bright light which lit up the whole area. When we looked down on the yard from our vantage point we could see that a great ball of lightning had struck. As it bounced from spot to spot, we had to duck to get out of its way, but as soon as it has passed we ran out and saw it strike the side of a scrap shed. When the sun came up, it picked out the shape of a dartboard on the scrap shed. The pattern was clear, with all the segments in place, and it was about 37 feet across."

(Meaden, G.T.; "Rayed Circle Made by Ball Lightning on the Wall of a Shed," Journal of Meteorology, U.K., 11:27l, 1986. Journal address: 54 Frome Road, Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire, BA15 1LD, UNITED KINGDOM.)

Reference. Other examples of ball lightning with rays are cataloged in GLB3 in: Lightning, Auroras. For information on this book, go to: here.

From Science Frontiers #50, MAR-APR 1987. � 1987-2000 William R. Corliss