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                   Tuesday, July 8, 2008 - 4:28PM

Charleston lightning strike

By DAN ROBINSON
Storm Chaser/Photographer
25 Years of Storm Chasing
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HD CHASE VIDEO: Lightning less than 1/2 mile away

Fast-moving garden-variety storms in the middle of the day don't really offer much in the way of subjects to chase, so I stayed home this afternoon and set up in the usual spot out of my living room window. I've built up enough stock of 'ordinary' lightning video now that I'm focusing on more out-of-the-ordinary type shots. This summer I've been opting to set up for close lightning, framing the shots to include more of the ground in the event that a close bolt (within a few hundred yards) happens to hit. This means I sacrifice more of the sky for 'ordinary' lightning video, but again, I feel like I have all I need of that subject.

A close strike did happen this afternoon, but it was after I'd taken the camera down and brought it back into the office to capture the video in. The storm was long gone and hadn't produced a flash in 10 minutes, so I felt it was safe to stop wasting battery power and expensive tape. As it sometimes happens, this was a bad choice - the storm decided to throw a bolt out somewhere within 200 yards of the house, flickering the power and shaking the windows. I'm not sure if it would have been in frame of where I had the camera pointing, and it sounded like a single-stroke anvil discharge (the type that produces one whited-out video frame and nothing else). I would have liked to at least been rolling during it to get the audio. Oh well.

About 15 minutes earlier, I did catch this nice CG about 1/2 mile away squarely in frame (video at the link above) - so I did end up with something worthwhile for the effort.


Click to enlarge

Tonight and tomorrow may bring more opportunities, and I won't rule out a brief trip north and/or west late tonight to catch a nice Ohio MCS.

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