Storm Highway by Dan Robinson
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Lightning Season in West Virginia

June 2, 2000

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Friday, June 2, 2000 radarExactly two years after a memorable storm, Charleston gets some spectacular twilight lightning. On June 2, 1998, a rare large, rotating supercell made the top headlines after it cut through Charleston- dropping a small tornado along Chappel Hollow in Kanawha City, denting thousands of automobiles with golfball-sized hail, and causing heavy, widespread damage that left the city awestruck. This year's storms (radar at right) weren't as destructive, but gave downtown Charleston an unmatchable fireworks display in the fading twilight of the West Virginia sky.

The squall line moved into town around 8:30, with most of the electrical activity in a strong cell to the north. A smaller storm cell passed to the south, leaving the downtown area with only a brief heavy shower.

Friday, June 2, 2000 radarAfter taking some shots from the South Side bridge, I got in the truck and caught up with the tail end of the northern storm in Handley at about 9:15 pm (radar at right). I stopped and took several shots from the railroad footbridge at the London Locks in west Handley (located about 20 miles ESE of Charleston).

The storm was still producing vivid lightning as it moved on southeast, so I continued east through Montgomery to try and play 'catch up' again. But when I finally reached the storm's core near Deepwater, the storm had decided to call it a night- not another flash of lightning.

I turned around at Deepwater and headed toward home, only to meet another dying storm producing classic anvil crawlers across the horizon. I crossed the river and stopped east of Smithers along Route 60 at 10:00pm just in time to catch the last lightning flash this storm could muster.

June 2 Photo Section

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