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No. 67: Jan-Feb 1990

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Possible Ball Lightning In Ankara

June 14, 1988. Ankara, Turkey.

"Another phenomenon occurred on 14 June in Ankara: May and June are usually very showery and thundery in central Anatolia and this year is no exception. However, the previous few days had been unusually stormy here in Ankara, and on the 14th the second thunderstorm of the day was in progress with curtains of rain and flickers of lightning, a few kilometres away to the north-west. The storm was moving towards us and the squally wind had already begun. I was again watching the weather from my office, which is on the fifth floor, when I was suddenly distracted by the appearance of a very bright, circular flash of blue-purple light (perhaps one metre or less in diameter), which persisted for about two seconds and then silently 'popped out,' leaving behind a puff of smoke, which then drifted away. The flash of circu lar light occurred about 500 m away from me: it was about 30 m above the ground, close to, and partly behind, a tall factory chimney. There was definitely no cloud-to-earth lightning over that area at that time, but the edge of the cumulonimbus cloud, giving the storm a few kilometres away, was directly overhead."

(Kirvar, Erol; "Thunderstorm and Possible Ball Lightning in Ankara, June 1988," Weather, 44:136, 1989.)

Reference. The various forms of ball lightning are cataloged in chapter GLB in our catalog: Lightning, Auroras. For more information on this book, go to: here.

From Science Frontiers #67, JAN-FEB 1990. � 1990-2000 William R. Corliss