Stormwatcher's amazing composite image captures two hours of lightning strikes in one shot

·2-min read
A composite photo of a lightning storm captured over the course of two hours by Mark Humpage (Picture: SWNS)
A composite photo of a lightning storm captured over the course of two hours by Mark Humpage. (SWNS)

A dad has created an amazing composite image of all the lightning bolts that struck during a massive two-hour electrical storm in the UK.

Mark Humpage, 55, took the striking shots from his toilet window in Cotesbach, Leicestershire, when storms battered the country on Tuesday night.

The dad-of-two, who has chased storms in America, said: “We were really lucky there was a band of electrical storms in the country and the focus was on us in the East Midlands last night. It was amazing.

“I could see it coming on a radar screen on an app. I have chased storms in the past and knew what to look for.”

Read more: House struck by lightning as summer thunderstorms and flash flooding hit UK

Humpage added: “I put it [the camera] on a stand on the tripod and let it shoot for two hours.

“I was sitting there watching the storm going on as it passed straight over us. It was quite scary.

“The camera has a special gizmo and only takes a picture when it detects lightning.

“I put the composite picture together with shots over that two-hour period.

Read more: House partially collapses after thunderstorms and flash flooding hit UK

Humpage reduced more than 1,000 pictures to 40 to make the composite image on his computer.

He said: “The colours are created by different particles in the atmosphere. The oxygen and nitrogen are most prevalent in the atmosphere.

"The combination of them with pollution and dust gives you the purples and the pinks.

“You get the white stripes when the bolts are closer and the air is clearer.

A woman wearing PPE (personal protective equipment), of a face mask or covering as a precautionary measure against COVID-19, shelters under an umbrella they are caught in a downpour of rain on Oxford Street in London on June 17, 2020, as lockdown restrictions imposed to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus continue to be relaxed. - Britain's annual inflation rate slid to 0.5 percent in May, the lowest level in four years, as the country's coronavirus lockdown dampens prices, official data showed Wednesday. (Photo by Tolga AKMEN / AFP) (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)
Storms hit the UK on Tuesday. (Getty Images)

Humpage said the thunder was rumbling very loudly and there were a couple of cracks which shook him off his seat.

His cat and dog were hiding under beds, he said.

Thunderstorms also hit parts of Greater Manchester, Merseyside and Cheshire, causing police to urge drivers to drop their speed following reports of traffic collisions.

The Met Office issued two yellow weather warnings for north-west England, south-west Scotland and parts of Northern Ireland.

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