Volcano Lightning, Iceland
Photograph by Sigurdur H. Stefnisson, National Geographic
The eruption’s ash clouds delayed European air travel for nearly a week.
Storms over volcanoes contain the same ingredients as storms over your hometown—water droplets, ice, and occasionally hail. The interaction of all of these elements creates an electrical charge that sparks lightning. Active craters add ash to the mix.
(Related: “Iceland Volcano Pictures: Lightning Adds Flash to Ash” and “Pictures: Volcano Lightning, Illuminated.”)
For an in-depth exploration of extreme weather events around the world, read National Geographic magazine's September feature "Weather Gone Wild."
Volcano and Waterspout, Hawaii
Photograph by Steve and Donna O’Meara, National GeographicThe eruption of Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano inspires the formation of a waterspout in this undated photo.
Waterspouts can emerge the way traditional tornadoes do, but not always. Many are created when near-surface winds suddenly change direction under a cloud that is producing a growing updraft. Unlike a tornado, a waterspout vortex and funnel cloud are created from the ground, or water, up.
(To learn more about volcanoes, see our video Volcanoes 101 and volcano photo gallery.)
(See more pictures of a recent Kilauea eruption: “Kilauea Volcano Pictures: Hawaii Eruption Spurts Lava.”)