Scott Hanselman

South Africa 2008 - Christmas Eve Eve Lightning Storm

December 24, 2008 Comment on this post [13] Posted in Africa
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In Oregon where I am from, the weather tends to be very mild. It's basically meh and 60F/15C most of the year. It's NOT a place of extreme anything. Except maybe hayfever/allergies.

Down here in Africa, it's extreme. It's as if God himself is showing off. It was very hot today, but tonight it's rained and thundered and lightening like someone was pissed. Here's a few shots with a super slow super cheap Casio Exilim Z750 out the window:

CIMG8576 CIMG8543 CIMG8566

I took 150 shots of blackness, one after the other, before I got these. I still don't feel like I nailed it, but the first one is pretty sweet.

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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December 24, 2008 1:27
Testing openID.. nice photos by the way haha
December 24, 2008 3:31
Hey Scott,

I am enjoying your posts from Africa. Funny that you mention the mild weather we USUALLY have here in Portland. This week we have had something like 8 inches of snow and more is coming! Enjoy your hot weather.
December 24, 2008 8:28
Try with the longest possible exposure time supported by your camera... ...usually a neat way to get nice photos of lightning (unless there are too many other light sources nearby)
December 24, 2008 12:25
* Photograph is good. And your patience is amazing! 150 shots, phewww...
* If you think 15C is good, come to Gujarat, India. I find 15C to be quite cold as we have 30C normal!
December 24, 2008 13:22
Good Work with that camera Scott, you are wasting your time on the keyboard with all that .Net stuff, haha just kidding man, love your posts.
December 24, 2008 19:01
Maybe God could show off by doing something about the AIDS epidemic or the extreme poverty in Africa instead of reserving his might and awe for a light show?

I'm just saying...

December 24, 2008 20:39
We called that "Spring" in Kansas when I was growing up.
December 24, 2008 22:51

Thanks for all the S.A. travel logs, I've enjoyed them very much. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

You are missing a rare white Christmas in Portland. We have 15-16 inches here near the I-5 Terwilleger curves (just South of downtown Portland for those not familiar). The previous Christmas snow record, set in 1932 or 1933 was 1.37 inches. Currently the temperature has just gotten above freezing, the second time in the past 12 days, but will drop again later this afternoon; this too is an unusual cold spell for Portland. The freeways, trains and airports have all experienced multi-day shut downs stranding hundreds, if not thousands of holiday travellers. Seattle has also experienced a lot of this same weather.

Hopefully someone has been checking on your house during this inclimate weather.

Begining the 27th we are expected to return to the typical Pacific NorthWet weather of mid 40s (F) and rain for the foreseeable futute.
December 25, 2008 2:43
This is one of the things I love about the Highveld, as we call it. We have very hot days and then in the evening we have thunderstorms. Great stuff, means I can swim in the day but at night the air is cool and fresh after the thunderstorm.

If you can before you leave, go to one of the higher areas in the JoBurg area when there is a thunderstorm again. Seeing JoBurg's lights with huge thunderbolts flash above it is really spectacular.
December 25, 2008 2:57
Marthinus - Yes, I was driving at midnight on the N1 last night after having taken these pictures and happened to see a bolt (many, actually) over Jo'burg and was truly blown away. The entire sky (the sky always seems larger in Africa) lit up purple and dozens of the biggest strikes I've ever seen shot across the sky with a width and an intensity that was (ahem) shocking.
December 26, 2008 14:35
Speaking of photos, my good mate Aquila has some good snaps of the same storm over here
December 30, 2008 12:55
Nice photos Scott. I know from personal experience that taking lightning photos is super hard. I still pull the camera out whenever there is lightning in the sky.

Here's my effort: Taking Lightning Photos
January 03, 2009 23:45
These storms tend to happen in certain areas only - so not really an African storm. In South Africa, as someone mentioned it is known as a Highveld storm and happens more in the Joburg region. Cape Town, Durban etc tend not have these kind of storms.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.