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[TowerTalk] Direct Lightning Strike Today

To: "a TowerTalk COL" <>,"a WXQC eList" <>
Subject: [TowerTalk] Direct Lightning Strike Today
From: "Thomas Giella KN4LF" <>
Date: Wed, 19 Jul 2006 18:42:50 -0400
List-post: <>
I took a direct lightning strike today during a vicious lightning storm. At 
4:30 pm EDT lightning struck my 50 foot Rohn steel push up mast. The mast is 
grounded by two 10 foot ground rods and my 80-10 meter inverted V antenna is 
grounded to three 10 foot ground rods. 

Most of the charge went straight into the ground via the mast but some also 
followed the 107 feet of 300 ohm window line feedline then to ground. The 
antenna is grounded just outside of the service entrance of the radio shack but 
a blue colored bolt of lightning still came through the glass window pane into 
the radio shack.

The lightning bolt knocked an Oregon Scientific wireless hygro-thermometer off 
of the window ledge and it also knocked a glass of ice tea off of my radio 
operating desk. I normally would have been sitting right where the glass of 
iced tea sat but I always leave my radio shack at the first sound of thunder. 
The lightning bolt struck about two seconds after I walked out of the radio 
shack. As I had my back to the electrical charge I didn't see it directly but I 
did hear the snapping sound of electricity and felt static electricity, plus 
smelled ozone and burning wood. 

I just finished inspecting the radio room at 6:00 pm EDT and luckily lost no 
radio, weather or computer equipment, the TV is okay too. All of my equipment 
was unplugged from the power mains, internet cable modem, antenna and ground 
but I feared (EMP) electromagnetic pulse damage. What I find amazing is that 
there is no mark on the glass window pane, plastic cup that held the iced tea 
or even the electronic hygro-thermometer. Heck the thermometer is still 

I haven't checked other electronic appliances in the house yet nor have I 
ventured outside to inspect the antenna mast and antenna, as it's still raining 
with distant rumbles of thunder. BTW I received 1.76" of rainfall, my biggest 
24 hour total so far this summer.

Take Care,
Thomas F. Giella, KN4LF
Retired Meteorologist & Space Plasma Physicist
Lakeland, FL, USA

NWS Tampa Bay, FL SKYWARN Observer #POL-10A

Lakeland, FL Daily Climatological Weather Data Archive:
Florida/US Raw Weather Forecasting Resource Links:
Florida Daily Weather Discussion Blog:
Man Induced Climate Change Refuted:

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