Tropical waves aren’t the biggest storms in the Caribbean…
But they produce some of the biggest lightning…
On September 5, 2020, Frankie Lucena pointed his video camera at a tropical wave passing just south of Puerto Rico, and he recorded some very impressive and huge Gigantic Jet lightning events and clusters of sprites.
Interestingly, weaker systems often produce the strongest upward-directed lightning, that intensifying tropical waves have the most sprites before these systems become furious hurricanes.
Once a storm becomes a hurricane, however, sprite activity seems to subside. Lucena has surveyed many passing hurricanes with relatively little success in catching sprites and Gigantic Jets.
However, last month, he captured a very rare Type II Gigantic Jet event over Tropical Storm Laura:
Another amazing Gigantic Jet was captured over Brazil during the lockdown:
It is no surprises that hurricanes produce less transient luminous events as they normally have less lightning as these powerful storms typically lack the vertical winds required to charge up a storm and unleash powerful bolts.
Meanwhile, another tropical wave is forming near Africa, and could potentially reach the Caribbean next week. So if you have the adequate material, try to spot some of these mysterious sky events above storms engulfing your area. They are just too awesome!
More strange sky phenomena on SpaceWeatherGallery,