Storm Highway by Dan Robinson
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Midsummer Storms: Scott Depot, West Virginia - July 9, 2003 - 6:30PM

By DAN ROBINSON
Storm Chaser/Photographer
25 Years of Storm Chasing
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CHASE VIDEO: RealVideo, 2.0MB - Intense lightning in Teays Valley, WCHS tower strike

The Charleston-Huntington areas had been largely spared from the relentless barrage of daily thunderstorms that moved across most of the eastern USA in early July. But that changed on July 9 when a strong line of storms developed to the northwest and swept southeast across most of the Kanawha Valley.

Although most of these storms stayed below severe criteria, one would not have known on account of the intense lightning activity. The frequent bright, vivid and loud lightning strikes were especially potent in Teays Valley as the line moved through.

During the hour-long course of the storms, I witnessed at least 10 to 15 direct hits to the WCHS TV tower on Coal Mountain - two of which were captured on camera. The frequency and intensity of strikes to the tower, some occurring as often as every 10 seconds, was an amazing sight while driving south on Poplar Fork Road. Unfortunately the trees, hills and curvy road kept the dashcam from capturing any of the tower strikes while driving. At the same time, numerous intense cloud-to-ground strikes also hammered the surrounding mountains.

I suffered a flat tire on Poplar Fork Road after running over a yet to be determined sharp object, which makes the third flat tire during a storm chase in 2 years.

Video grabs from the July 9, 2003 storms in Putnam County:

One of numerous strikes to the WCHS TV tower in Teays Valley:

Lightning approaches homes in Teays Valley:

Three simultaneous cloud-to-ground strikes:

Another strike to the WCHS tower:

Lightning around the WCHS tower:

Digital Video: Sony DCR-TRV900 3CCD MiniDV, 720x480 NTSC

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