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Thread: electric storms

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    Default electric storms

    Hi,

    in a record I have seen the remark, that the crews ran in "electric storms". Can anybody explain to me what this is? Is it just another word for thunderstorm?

    Thanks.

    Marcel

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    Marcel,
    The reference is probably to "St Elmo's Fire" - Google it. Whilst in itself it is not a thunderstorm, it often occurs in the vicinity of thunderstorms, or in very high electric fields.
    HTH
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Hi Peter,

    thanks. I will have a look for it.

    The whole sentence is: Our crews also ran into rain, hail and electric storms on their way out, but over the targets themselves visibility was good.

    So thunderstorm, or like you wrote St Elmo's Fire is meant ...

    Marcel

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    Hi Marcel
    In addition to Peter's comments one of the most common phenomena referred to as "electric storms" was lightning often encountered in or near storm clouds. Not all of the lightning touched the ground, much of it travelled between cells within storm clouds if you were unfortunate enough to be caught in one;
    Regards
    Dick

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    I might just add that when them "up the front office" noticed St Elmo's Fire plasma displays on prop-tips, etc, they made the WOP aware. Several hundred feet of copper wire trailing behind your Lanc/Halibag was just asking for trouble in those conditions!!!
    And - if my reducing technical memory will permit - the Hastings (and that lot) had very tiny 'brushes' on the trailing edges of aerofoils which were designed to rid the a/c of any/some/most induced electrostatic charges?!!
    Was in a Shack crewed by a Sqn Ldr, several Flt Lts, and innumerable fierce Flt/Sgts. When St Elmo's paid us a visit. It was the poor SAC Met Asst (supernumerary crew) who got the blame!! T'was always thus!
    HTH
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Marcel,

    I have a letter written in late July 1944 by an RCAF Flight Sergeant pilot in England to his lifelong friend back in Canada. The pilot was nearing the end of his Operational Training. He was flying Wellingtons at the time.

    Although he does not use the specific term “electric storm” in his letter, he describes an incident that fits in with this thread. Here is an excerpt:

    “. . . we were hit by lightning the other night and I was blinded for about a minute―so was the bomb aimer. The radio went for a burton and the fuses blew out. However no one panicked so I imagine we’ll be a fairly cool crew in cases of emergency.”

    The letter ends with, “P.S. Don’t tell Mother about the lightning. She’ll only worry.”

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    Hi,

    again an interesting topic I think. Thanks for your remarks, especially the one of the letter ...

    Best

    Marcel

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