St. Elmo’s Fire: An Interesting Weather Phenomenon

St. Elmo’ fire is a luminous plasma resulting from a discharge from pointed objects (like a mast, animal horn, or a chimney) or occasionally the leading edges of airplanes. The plasma is generally brushlike in appearance and blue or violet in color. It also occurs in the shape of a lightning over the windshields of airplanes, and a hissing sound accompanies the plasma. It is mostly noticable in stormy weathers.

St. Elmo’s fire takes its name after St. Erasmus of Formia, the patron saint of sailors. Therefore, sailors interpreted the phenomenon as a good omen as well as a sign of guardianship over them.

St. Elmo’s fire picture taken on an airbus

St. Elmos fire
St Elmo's fire in aviation
St. Elmo's fire
An Illustration of St. Elmo’s fire on a mast.

If the conditions are right, it can even occur on your fingertips.

Here is a visual demonstration how St. Elmo’s Fire occurs.