I made a fire defense space about 100' by 50' behind my two level home on a 20% slope surrounded by old, tall pines. On July 14, 2018, I saw thin white jagged lines moving across the open space that appeared to me to be low flying lightning and made a note of the event on my calendar, where I also record the daily low & high temperatures as well as any rain, snow, or hail. During the two days before and after the event there was no rain and temps were between low to high 60s a.m. and 84 to 94 degrees p.m. I do not recall whether there were any clouds on 7/14.

Could what I see have been generated by a natural phenomenon (or could it have something to do nearby PG&E power and phone poles in combination with weather circumstances)?


closed as unclear what you're asking by Fred, Daniel Griscom, Peter Jansson, trond hansen, gansub Dec 29 '18 at 9:33

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  • $\begingroup$ Hi. I'm sorry, but we can't answer questions about power engineering here. Our help center explains what you should ask about here. Someone might be able to tell you if there was a well-known natural cause of what you saw, so if you want to edit your question to ask that, go ahead. If not, you may get more traction from Engineering SE or Electrical Engineering SE. $\endgroup$ – Spencer Dec 6 '18 at 17:30
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Not my typical area but I have seen Saint Elmo's fire on a mountain top that could be similar to what you are mentioning. Was the air unsettled? i.e. large thunderclouds. I doubt it would be the power from the power company, that would amount to a ground fault. $\endgroup$ – Friddy Dec 7 '18 at 0:08
  • $\begingroup$ What time on the 14th? $\endgroup$ – JeopardyTempest Dec 7 '18 at 12:54
  • $\begingroup$ the time of day is important as@JeopardyTempest do say,in my opinion the power line is not a likely source for this,but if you have a power line of hundreds of kilovolts over your head then there is a possibility but then the electric field is so strong that you can hold a fluorecent tube in one end and the other end up in the air and it will produce visible light if you do this at night. $\endgroup$ – trond hansen Dec 7 '18 at 19:18

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