On the night of Aug.24, 1998, an strong cell
erupted northwest of Niagara, over Lake Ontario. It quickly intensified
as it approached land. Frequent anvil crawlers could be seen as it
moved towards us here in St. Catharines, and after then anvil had passed
overhead, -very- frequent CG and CC lightning were visible. The following
pictures are video captures of the tornado that was spawned on the trailing
edge of the storm. This tornado was not recorded by Environment Canada,
although newspapers reported that it was witnessed by several people besides
myself and my friend, as well as NRP (Niagara Regional Police) officers,
and is currently being blamed for the destruction of 2 cars, damage to
1 house, and several commercial buildings on the Niagara Escarpment.
(These vid-caps were quite a pain to time properly as yah have to click
on "Capture Still Image" right at the time the lightning illuminates the
screen... but, after rewinding and capturing over and over until I timed
it right, I think I managed to come out with some half-decent photos that
were suprisingly in focus... - the camcorder has a nasty habit to go out
of focus when there's not enough light). The tornado itself had no
definate shape to it... it was more 'whispy' clumps of air appearing
in areas then disappearing. But was dark so maybe it wasn't even
a tornado. 'Too much lightning/wind/hail/rain for us to stop and
roll down the windows.
Frequent CG lightning was very close at times.
Some front-lit lightning shots of the funnel...
Shot out the passenger side window. Mirror at bottom is side mirror
of the truck...
(Note: funnel was not as big as it looks in the pix below - the back-lit
shots also light up much of the hail/rain that wrapped around it - the
above pictures give better shots of it's size)
2 lights bottom centre are side mirror reflection of truck lights.
Minimal visibility in hail/lightning core.
More CGs light up the sky.
Lightning back-lights the threatening clouds over the lake.
CG strikes the lake (Lake Ontario)
Various stages of the same CG as it strikes the ground numerous times:
More CG lightning striking the water.
Lightning touching down over St. Catharines:
Our drive toward Niagara-on-the-Lake.
CG hits farmland in NOTL.
For a quick little .AVI movie of an anvil crawler from
this storm, click HERE!
to the Severe Storms Page !