Lightning During A Hawaiian Volcano Eruption

In July 2008, the ocean entry plume at Kalapana, Hawaii erupted with a spectacular display of lava, ash, and dark-clouded fury.

But within those eruption clouds was something else entirely: Lightning.

This is a fairly common phenomenon, though it’s rare in Hawaii. In this case, it occurred due to “unusually dry conditions.”

As the hot plume rises, it draws up cooler air and moisture from the sea, forming a vortex (similar to a waterspout). Location is Kilauea volcano, near Kalapana.

Lightning inside plume of Kilauea volcano eruption in 2008
Image: CSAV/YouTube

The lightning is clearly visible, especially during the night shots, in the above video (beginning at about the 2:00 mark). The footage is courtesy the Center for the Study of Active Volcanoes, or CSAV.

You can read more about lightning in volcano eruption clouds — and the 2008 Kalapana area eruption in particular — at the official CSAV website.


Rob Schwarz

Writer, blogger, and part-time peddler of mysterious tales. Editor-in-chief of Stranger Dimensions.