This is unexpected.

A storm watcher was shooting lovely video of a rainbow as storms approached, when a bolt of lightning shoots from the sky right in front of him. The sound is the truly frightening part as the strike seems to come from nowhere, jarring the peaceful scene.

Beneath the bolt, the ground explodes in a singed flurry of dirt and debris, as the heat from the lightning instantly evaporates the moisture in anything it comes into contact with.

Mid-strike screen grab of the video shows the lightning bold beading out. (Screenshot by Brad Panovich)

Meteorologist Brad Panovich captured screenshots of the scene while the lightning bolt beads out. He explains:

You can actually see small elements of plasma from the strike along the channel of the lightning strike a few frames later. Also note the dust/dirt plume from the explosion around the tree. The dirt likely comes from the steam/sap explosion within the roots of the trees which spread from the trunk. This is why you often see trenches in the ground from a strike as the bolt travels through the tree roots and superheats the sap and water in the root causing an explosion through the soil.

h/t Brad Panovich for sharing this!