Weather News

Aug 20, 2013 10:17 AM by Stephen Bowers

More red sprites seen over Nebraska

If you are a viewer of News 5 Today, you may recall video we showed a few weeks ago of the strange electrical discharges seen in thunderstorms near Oklahoma City.

Those red sprites have been spotted again, this time over Nebraska. says the red sprites were spotted on the night of August 12 by Jason Ahrns of the University of Alaska at Fairbanks and a team of researchers from the National Center for Atmospheric Research, or NCAR, which is based in Boulder.

The team was photographing a thunderstorm over Nebraska when they took this photo.

Ahrns, the photographer, says he cannot explain the change in color from purple near the bottom to red toward the top. 

According to, sprites were first documented by researchers from the University of Minnesota. The physics of sprites, along with other high-altitude electrical discharges called elves and jets, are not well understood. Also unknown is how they affect the environment around them. Sprites often last only milliseconds, making researching the phenomena difficult.


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