This may shock you… I’ve never been the girl interested in science. Yes, surprising – I know – especially coming from a girl who writes a science/weather related blog. Actually while attending elementary school, high school, and even college, science was my least favorite subject. However, it was the severe weather that always interested me – the science of tornadoes, volcanoes, and even lightning.
Keeping the interest alive, I recently found an article entitled “Scientists Exploring ‘Volcanic Lightning‘” featured on FOX News.com. The article states that scientists are studying the connection between volcanoes and lightning.
Volcano seismologist Stephen McNutt at the University of Alaska Fairbanks‘s Geophysical Institute saw strange spikes in the seismic data from the Mount Spurr eruption in 1992, which ultimately sparked a plethora of research.
Ultimately McNutt and his team found that when a volcano erupts (like Mount Redoubt which was used in their study), lightning is emitted at a higher rate than during an actual thunderstorm.
As told to FOX News.com, McNutt states, “At the moment the eruption started, there were these sparks of lightning coming from the vent of Redoubt that only lasted 1 to 2 milliseconds. This was a different kind of lighting that we have never seen before.”
Seismologists are still learning how lightning differs in different mediums. While the newly acquired knowledge is fascinating… it doesn’t change this science misanthrope.