Images of a stunning lightening storm above Hurricane Mathew which generated rare Red Sprites have been taken by Frankie Lucena on October 1, 2016, in Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico.
The weeks sky activity upscale had yet another twist Hurricane Mathew continued to gain momentum across the Caribbean and the southeastern USA with warnings 1000’s of people should be alert as the storm system approaches the mainland.
Seeing sprites above a hurricane is rare. Most hurricanes don’t even have regular lightning because the storms lack a key ingredient for electrical activity: vertical winds. But we are learning Matthew is not a typical hurricane. It is one of the most powerful in recent years. Perhaps extra-strong winds in the vicinity of the storm set the stage for upward-reaching bolts.
Sprites are large-scale electrical discharges that occur high above thunderstorm clouds, or cumulonimbus, giving rise to a quite varied range of visual shapes flickering in the night sky. They are triggered by the discharges of positive lightning between an underlying thundercloud and the ground.