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                   Monday, May 11, 2009 - 11:45PM

Ground-to-cloud (upward) lightning page updated

By DAN ROBINSON
Editor/Photographer
25 Years of Storm Observing
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LINK: Lightning discharges to towers and skyscrapers

I have collected a large amount of new material on this subject over the past couple of years, but have just now got around to incorporating it into the upward discharges page. Lots of new photos, videos and information are available here.

This has obviously become a 'pet subject' of mine in recent years. There is nothing like getting close to lightning again and again - there is a lot that can be learned from these close observations, and so I plan to do much more with this in coming seasons. I have located a few more towers near Charleston that are prime upward lightning initiation sites, and are ones that allow for much closer vantage points than the WVAH tower. Two of them I can get to within 50-100 feet of the tower base! Also, I think I may have developed a solution to the lens raindrop problem with shooting a tower tip with the camera pointed nearly straight up in the air - more on that later (once I get a prototype built). This should allow me to set up directly beside the tower bases and get the closest shots possible from the ground, less than 1000 feet away (~300 meters) from the discharges (and zoomed in). For comparison, the WVAH shots are at about 2,300 feet distant (1,500-ft tower, set up roughly 1,000-1,200 feet from the base). Ultimately I'd like to get longer lenses to get imagery of channels/leaders on the order of inches scale. The closer, the better!

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