Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Purple Lightning

Today I went for a walk into town, I did a few things, and then I started to walk home. As soon as I began the trek back home, it started raining. It was pouring! And then came the lightning and thunder. All day it had been fairly dry, and all of a sudden it was a torrential downpour. Last night I was complaining that it was too hot, and here I was, soaked to the skin. Welcome to Melbourne, the city with bi-polar weather.

What was really impressive though was the lightning. There was constant thunder, like one huge, long drum roll. And the lightning was like a strobe light of flashes, the sky was lit up like the fourth of July. Not that I can talk, because I'm Australian, and I've never seen the sky during a fourth of July celebration.

I'm exaggerating a little bit, but there was certainly a lot of lightning and thunder.

Anyway, I was walking home, minding my own business, and I was looking at the ground, when all of a sudden, there was a blinding flash of white and purple. It lit up the footpath in front of me, stunned, I looked up to the sky, but the lightning had already disappeared. Immediately there was a deafening crack of thunder. It was almost painful. I was so shocked I didn't think to cover my ears.

Now, the thing about where I live; is that there are hills and valleys everywhere. And if you've ever been to a huge mountain and shouted something really loudly, you know what I mean when I say it echoed like a boss.

The sound of that one crack was pounding through the hills for at least ten seconds, the ground was shaking for a moment, and I almost lost my footing.

Suffice to say, I was petrified. My ears were ringing, and my eyes were temporarily blinded just looking at the footpath.

I think what stuck out the most to me was that the bolt of lightning was purple, or that's what the colour of the ground was when the bolt hit the Earth. I'll never forget that moment.

I got home, and boy was I wet. Don't get me wrong, I love the rain, I love walking in the rain, I love dancing in the rain. But I've come out of swimming pools and not been as wet as I was today. What's worse is that one of the thongs (or flip flops) I was wearing was falling apart. The bar that goes in between your first and second toes kept coming loose, and I had to keep fixing it, every twenty or so steps. What would've normally been a half hour walk; became a forty-five minute walk.

Anyway I got home and I just had to know what causes purple lightning. Turns out there are a lot of different opinions on what causes the different colours. Distance, temperature, particles in the air, who knows?

No comments:

Post a Comment