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                   Saturday, April 23, 2011 - 10:31PM CDT

April 23 lightning from New Memphis to Marissa, IL

By DAN ROBINSON
Editor/Photographer
25 Years of Storm Observing
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It's been feeling a little like an expedition vacation the past two weeks. And it essentially has been by previous standards, except I've started the days working and ended them in my own bed. Storms have been an almost daily presence in the St. Louis metro, and will be for at least another few days. Saturday's event was a large complex of elevated thunderstorms that developed across southern Illinois during the afternoon, providing some more convenient lightning photo opportunities into the evening.

Some may wonder why in this era of extreme weather imagery and media that I bother posting shots from my less-significant expeditions. The reason is that days like these exemplify the ones I've enjoyed ever since I started in the hobby. The simplicity of a normal thunderstorm rolling across the landscape, with light winds and rain, the occasional nice bolt of lightning and the sound of rolling thunder - to me, signs of a blessed life. Weather expeditioning doesn't have to be 'extreme' to be a nice way to spend your spare time. Many times I come home from outings like these just as satisfied as I do when I see something off-the-charts incredible. Even the weakest thunderstorms are still amazing to me and worth the time to go outside and watch. I hope that the generations of expeditioners now and in the future can realize that atmospheric nature has more to appreciate than just its extremes.

These storms approached New Memphis (3 miles south of New Baden) before sunset. I used the 'reaction technique' handheld here due to the daylight.

New Memphis, Illinois lightning 1

New Memphis, Illinois lightning 2

As the storms began to congeal into a complex, I ended up in Marissa at the Prairie State power plant, hoping for some upward lightning off of the 700-foot tall smokestack. The lightning didn't cooperate today, but there will be many other opportunities.

Marissa, Illinois lightning 1

Unfortunately these storms, like Friday's, have had a downside - this time in the form of flooding problems starting about 30-40 miles to our south in extreme southern Illinois.

Watching radar trends lately it appears you couldn't have ended up at a more fitting location for vacation.
- Posted by Paul from Decatur, IL
Definitely - this week has made my year already!
- Posted by Dan R. from New Baden, IL

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