Lightning Strikes Boat in Boston | Lightning Analysis

  • Jul 10, 2019

Lightning strikes boat at Boston Yacht Club on Saturday, July 6, 2019.

A man videoing a thunderstorm got the shock of his life when a cloud-to-ground lightning bolt lit up a boat docked in front of him.

The incident occurred on Saturday, July 6, 2019 at the Columbia Yacht Club in South Boston, MA. Storms rolled through Boston during the afternoon and evening hours. They ended around 9:45 p.m. EDT and produced about 1 to 1.5 inches of rain, according to the National Weather Service.

The owner was not on it and no one was hurt.

Total Lightning Analysis

Our meteorologists ran an Earth Networks Total Lightning Network analysis from 20:00 UTC to 23:00 UTC. For reference, this is 4 p.m. EDT to 7 p.m. EDT. In this three-hour period, our network detected 4,425 pulses within a 10-mile radius of the club.

We also detected several cell tracks and two Dangerous Thunderstorm Alerts (DTAs). You can watch an overview of our analysis in the video below. Since we detect total lightning, we show both cloud-to-ground (yellow) pulses and in-cloud (magenta) pulses.

The closest strike we detected happened at 21:54 UTC (5:54 p.m. EDT) and appears on the club’s docks.

Columbia yacht club lightning strike

This strike matches the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration‘s (NOAA) Radar Composite.

Radar composite of Boston storm in July 2019

Lightning Strikes Boat Video

A passerby recorded the bolt of lightning as it struck the boat. This dramatic video was widely shared on social media and the news. We’ve included a tweet showing the video below from Boston 25 News, giving credit to the man who took the video: Harry Minucci.

Love Lightning?

If you find lightning fascinating, you’ll want to read our 2019 Mid-Year Lightning Report.

Our lightning scientists compiled our total lightning and Dangerous Thunderstorm Alert data from the continental United States to show us:

  • How many total (in-cloud and cloud-to-ground) strikes we recorded
  • Which states and counties saw the highest lightning counts and densities
  • How lightning played a role in some of the most surprising weather incidents of 2019


You can read the full report by clicking the link below.
Earth Networks | 2019 Mid-Year Lightning Report