Friday, April 13, 2012

Lightning Strikes London Bound 777 in SF

Mid-air drama; Lightning strikes London-bound 777

SAN FRANCISCO — A United Airlines 777 bounded for London was struck by lightning shortly after takeoff Thursday forcing the pilot to return to San Francisco International Airport, according to an airport duty manager.
Duty manager Nancie Parker said United Airlines Flight 930 bound for London's Heathrow Airport, left at 7:35 p.m. and was struck by lightning while flying over the ocean.

The plane returned to San Francisco at 10 p.m. and the passengers have been re-accommodated to a flight Friday, weather permitting.
No passengers were injured in the lightning strike, Parker said.
In addition to the 60 canceled flights, 19 were diverted to refuel because they could not land in San Francisco, and 22 flights arrived after midnight, Parker said.
"Hopefully today will be a better day if the weather cooperates," Parker said.
A weaker front was expected to roll though the region Friday night before the stormy weather clears out for the weekend.
[[Latest weather forecast]]
The lightning strike was one of more than a hundred that came during the height of the second of two spring storms that rolled through the Bay Area in the last 24 hours.
The downpours left 1.94 inches of rain in Danville, 1.83 inches in San Francisco and 0.82 inches in San Jose.
While the showers lingered for a while early Friday morning, it was clear by mid-morning and not expected to cause the San Francisco Giants from canceling their home opener Friday afternoon.
Meanwhile, crews were cleaning up from the havoc caused by the storm.
At the storm's height, some 4,500 customers were without power in Concord after an outage that was reported at 10:09 p.m., according to utility spokeswoman Jana Morris.
An earlier outage in Concord initially impacted 1,700 customers. That outage was caused by downed power lines and was reported at 8:42 p.m.
About 2,000 PG&E customers in San Francisco lost power because of downed power lines.
By sunrise the power had been restored to most of the customers.
In the Oakland hills, work crews were removing a six-story tall tree that crashed onto a roadway and coming to rest on a house in the Shepard Canyon neighborhood around 11 p.m. No one was injured in the incident, but some power lines were knocked down.
Photo caption: Lightning strikes Bay Area (KTVU) end quote from:

Where I was there were literally hundreds of lightning strikes. My wife was worried because my son was in the outdoor hot tub Spa watching them but at that time most of the strikes were several miles away out towards the ocean and trees and high points. Later, as I tried to go to sleep the lightning strikes kept me from going to sleep but somehow my wife was able to sleep through them. It is very strange because where I live there used to be lightning every year but since about 2001 there has been no lightning to speak of. But now all of a sudden there is lightning everywhere for one night. Things are definitely changing a lot everywhere. Also, we used to get lightning strikes in the summer and fall but never in April. So, this is new too.

Note: That night after I wrote this on NBC News with Brian Williams it said over  750 lightning strikes were counted in the San Francisco Bay area. He also showed a beautiful photo of one of the Bay Bridges with many strikes of lightning hitting it over a 20 second time lapse. This might be at NBC website under the Brian Williams likely the same day I wrote this or the one after.

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