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                   Friday, July 31, 2009 - 1:24AM

July 30 storms and miscellaneous updates

By DAN ROBINSON
Editor/Photographer
25 Years of Storm Observing
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I think 5 days without a blog post is a record for me since I started this thing. Just very busy with web site work, plus not a whole lot to talk about around here this week. Charleston saw some convection on Thursday - but more of the 'tropical rain' variety with no lightning or thunder that I observed. One of the showers had some interesting structure for a few minutes - but it wasn't anything to get excited about:


click to enlarge

A flooding threat exists overnight into midday Friday, but for the first time in a long time, I have to let it go. I have a web site photo shoot at 9AM - gotta stick with what pays the bills.

EZ-Pass transponder

I got my turnpike transponder this week, all but escaping from the toll increase that takes effect Saturday (I blogged about this last week). Tolls only go up 5 cents per plaza for EZ-Pass holders, but go up 75 cents for everyone else (to $2 per plaza). I decided to go pick it up at the Parkways Authority offices (at Piedmont Road near Campbells Creek) rather than fill out the form by mail. I got lucky and didn't have to wait in line - must have picked just the right time, as the media has reported a huge rush on transponders this week. All in all, it cost me $35 ($5 setup fee, $10 transponder deposit and $20 prepaid toll balance). I'll easily recoup that expense this winter with snowstorm trips to Beckley.


EZ-Pass transponder

New close upward lightning lens

I ordered a Bower 650mm-1300mm manual focus telephoto lens from B&H, which should arrive today. At $300, it is a low-end solution, but likely far better than my 300mm+2.2x teleconverter setup. The lens is slow (F8 to F16) but this is ideal for zooming in close on an intense lightning channel (my 300mm shots are taken at F13). The lens is a beast - with a tripod mount on the lens (rather than the camera) to balance the whole thing out. I hope to make it up to the WVAH site later in the afternoon to do a dry run on the framing, focusing and tripoding tasks. Typically I don't see too many more good upward lightning storms this late in the season (with good electrified stratiform regions), but I'll be on the lookout as always.

DashCam archive update

Upon capturing a new entry for the dashcam archive on Wednesday, I decided to update that page and re-encode all of the HD videos in the new Flash FLV format. The new dashcam index page is here.

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The following comments were posted before this site switched to a new comment system on August 27, 2016:

If you only need an E-ZPass for casual use, then get it from New York State. The New York program is simple and they donít have any account maintenance fees. Go to e-zpassny.com and click on the "SIGN UP NOW!" button, then on the next page where it says "select your state or province" choose New York to avoid being redirected back to the West Virginia site. Don't worry, after choosing New York will be able to navigate through to the real sign-up page where you can put in your correct address and license plate.
- Posted by Larry K

25 Years of Storm Observing
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