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Tower Power - Upward lightning to the old WVAH tower - Teays Valley, WV

By DAN ROBINSON
Storm Chaser/Photographer
25 Years of Storm Chasing
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If anything good can be said for lightning enthusiasts, it's that we're dedicated. Crazy, but dedicated.

Despite light-headedness and a fever from a short but acute illness that would eventually put me in the hospital the next day, I spent several hours outside after midnight to catch this ground-to-cloud discharge off of the big WVAH TV Tower in Scott Depot, WV (Teays Valley) on August 11, 1999.

This tower is the tallest structure in the state of West Virginia, at 1551 feet. Several lightning strikes to it are almost guaranteed during any decent storm. In fact, I wasn't even aiming in this direction until I saw a first bolt hit the tower. This was the second strike to the structure in less than 10 minutes.

UPDATE: This tower was destroyed on February 19, 2003 after collapsing under the weight of heavy icing from periods of freezing rain during previous days. Plans to rebuild the tower are in the works.

I taped this storm with a cassette recorder, so you can hear the thunder from this lightning strike by listening to this audio file - (MP3 format, 46KB). You'll need Windows Media Player, Winamp, or any MP3-capable player to listen.

Camera/Lens/Film: 35mm Minolta SRT201 SLR, 35mm lens, Kodak 100 ASA.
Exposure: 45 seconds @ F8

[ click image to enlarge ]

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