Every once in a while the weather produces a perfect, textbook phenomenon. And every once in a while, someone captures it perfectly. It happened in Tokyo on August 26: a perfect, textbook thunderstorm.



This thunderstorm displayed a textbook Cumulonimbus capillatus incus shape: a powerful convective updraft and a well-defined anvil at the top. It also produced an impressive ‘bolt from the blue’ lightning bolt: such a bolt starts in the updraft or even in the anvil and strikes out and away from the thunderstorm. This type of lightning bolt can strike up to ~30 km from the thunderstorm; the skies can be blue with hardly a sign of an ongoing thunderstorm, hence the name ‘bolt from the blue’.

Check out Learnweather’s section on thunderstorms if you want to learn more about Cumulonimbus capillatus incus and other kinds of clouds that produce thunderstorms!