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                   Monday, March 7, 2016

February 20-March 6 storm chasing roundup

By DAN ROBINSON
Storm Chaser/Photographer
25 Years of Storm Chasing
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Although we've reached our long-awaited meteorological spring date of March 1, Midwest chasers enter the season with no "Storm Deprivation Syndrome" to speak of, since our winter has had its share of thunderstorms. Here's a roundup of the most interesting events I've covered since my last blog post on February 19th:

February 20 close lightning and hail - Festus, MO

February 20 brought a few sub-severe hailers to the St. Louis metro. Some cores covered the ground with pea-sized stones. All of the storms produced prolific lightning.

VIDEO: February 20, 2016 lightning and hail at Festus/Crystal City, MO

On this night, lightning hit a tree a few hundred feet behind my car south of Crystal City. Unfortunately, it was a single-stroke flash that was only partially captured due to the dashcam's rolling shutter:

The video has the loud thunder from that strike. I captured this still image across the river at Waterloo:

February 24 heavy snow/power outages, St. Louis

What may be our final winter weather event this season was on February 24, when a minor snowstorm moved across the St. Louis metro. Most areas saw only an inch or two, but a narrow band of heavy, wet snow over West County was enough to bring down some trees and power lines. My dashcam caught one instance of this happening in Des Peres - a power flash lit up the skies as the power along Manchester Road went out. Here is an animated GIF of that incident:

Here is some B-roll footage I shot of this event:

VIDEO: February 24, 2016 St. Louis snow - overnight
VIDEO: February 24, 2016 St. Louis snow - daytime

March 6 thunderstorms, St. Charles

A few weak but surprisingly electrified storms passed across the western side of the STL metro on Sunday night the 6th, officially kicking off our 2016 spring storm season. I captured these stills:

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