Phantom camera: Tom A.Warner
Lightning captured at 7,207 frames per second
A negative cloud-to-ground (-CG) flash captured at 7,207 frames per second. A negative stepped leader propagates downward from the cloud and connects with the ground causing a bright return stroke. Filmed near Devils Tower, WY
Upward Lightning captured at 7,207 frames per second
An upward lightning flash initiated from a TV tower in Rapid City, SD. Filmed at 7,207 fps the positive polarity leader moves upward and branches into two primary channels. The right channel is weak and unstable and exhibits prolific recoil leader activity as the branch struggles to establish stable growth. The entire sequence spans about 1/2 of a second
Downward Lightning Triggers Upward Leaders at 9,000 fps
A positive cloud-to-ground lightning flash triggers upward positive lightning leaders to form from three television towers in Rapid City, South Dakota. Filmed at 9,000 frames per second, the video shows positive leaders descending from the thunderstorm with one connecting to ground.
The resulting return stroke creates a fast electric field change which causes three tall television towers to initiate upward positive lightning leaders. Fast, short duration, bidirectional/bipolar recoil leaders form on positive leader branches that become cutoff from their main channel.
Tom Warner says on his site: "Lightning is one of nature's most spectacular phenomenon. I seek to document lightning's beauty, power, and fierocity using an array of optical and electromagnetic sensors in hopes of better understanding its behavior.
Since 2007, I have used high-speed cameras capable of recording lightning at up to 100,000 images per second. These cameras enable us to see lightning like never before as we can clearly watch lightning propagate downward from the clouds or upward from tall objects."