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Lightning Season in West Virginia

Lightning Season 1999 - Storms in West Virginia

By DAN ROBINSON
Storm Chaser/Photographer
25 Years of Storm Chasing
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Warm weather gives winter lightning a chance

January-February 1999
January 21 stormsEl Niño, global warming- No matter what theory you believe, there's no mistaking the fact that this winter has been one of the warmest on record. Charleston has heard thunder on three different occasions already during the month of January. On the morning of January 21, a strong cell passed to the east (see radar image at right), producing frequent, bright cloud-to-ground lightning- a even rarer event. Since it was daytime and the lightning was about 8 miles away, photographing these bolts was not possible. But it was sort of strange to be standing outside in the 'dead of winter' watching an active thunderstorm.

There's no way to tell if winter thunderstorms are a precursor to above-average severe weather this summer. But I'll have the film on hand and the camera ready just in case.....

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