Storm chaser feels lucky to be alive after lightning strike at Ivinghoe Beacon

Thunderbolts of lightning very very frightening: The lightning strikes just 30 feet away from Brendan Jones at Ivinghoe Beacon
Thunderbolts of lightning very very frightening: The lightning strikes just 30 feet away from Brendan Jones at Ivinghoe Beacon

A meteorologist and keen storm chaser came within 30 feet of being struck by lightning in a terrifying incident at Ivinghoe Beacon at the weekend.

Brendan Jones, a forecaster at Met Desk in Wendover near Aylesbury, revealed he felt ‘very lucky’ after reading reports of lightning fatalities from Wales on Sunday.

Mr Jones captured the amazing moment on camera and writing in his column for our sister paper The Bucks Herald, he said: “Aylesbury itself missed the worst of the storms which passed over at around 1am on Saturday morning, but nearby Tring and Ivinghoe saw more intense storms with 10mm of rain in just a few minutes.

“As well as being a meteorologist, I’m also a keen storm chaser, having observed storms in Europe and the USA.

“On Friday night, I ventured to Ivinghoe Beacon in the hope of capturing some lightning photography.

“The storm was over 10 miles away, still very distant, when the unthinkable happened. A huge lightning strike arced the 10 miles between the storm and my location, striking the ground within 30 feet of where I was standing.

“The intense heat, the ear-splitting thunder and the powerful shockwave were immense. With news of lightning fatalities from Wales on Sunday, I consider myself very lucky; a very real demonstration of the dangers of lightning.”

But his mind was straight back on the job as he looked ahead to this week’s weather for the area.

He added: “It will be much cooler over the next couple of days with a northerly breeze but Thursday is still looking fine. It looks set to turn very warm again on Friday and into the weekend, possibly even hot, but with the risk of isolated storms on Sunday.”