[TowerTalk] Arc During Lightning Storm

Chuck O'Neal cdoneal at comcast.net
Fri Jun 23 21:24:46 EDT 2006

You are hearing induced voltage arcing to a ground or perhaps differentially
across the power line across the closest spacing in the wiring due to a much
larger CURRENT produced in the lightening arc.

Think of the lightening discharge in terms of  a  large transformer with the
current in the lightening "bolt" as the current in the primary winding and
the wiring in your home as the secondary for a brief moment in time.  If the
induced voltage exceeds the breakdown voltage ratings in air for the
spacings in your wiring, it will arc.  The closer the lightening, the
greater the current induced.  Unless you have a direct or really close hit,
these induced arcs are relatively low in energy content but unnerving


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Mike W2LO" <rfman45 at hotmail.com>
To: <towertalk at contesting.com>
Sent: Friday, June 23, 2006 7:10 PM
Subject: [TowerTalk] Arc During Lightning Storm

>   A couple of times in my life I have been in a building during a
> storm, as today, and I hear a "zap" arc-type noise during a close strike.
> Today I was in a garage during a storm and we had a close strike, but not
> terribly so, and I heard a loud "zap". All the ac circuits and telephones
> worked afterward (there were no external antennas, etc.) What am I
>                                                    Mike  W2LO
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