Storm Highway by Dan Robinson
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Summer Preview - Lightning over Charleston, WV, - April 17, 2002 - 8:30 PM

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The Mountain State's summer-in-spring weather pattern continued Wednesday evening with a round of spectacular thunderstorms that developed around the Charleston and surrounding areas just before sunset. The storms hardly moved, and stayed very active well after dark, providing an abundance of photo opportunities for several hours - all with no observing mileage required.

The activity began around 7:00PM with several cells firing up in southern West Virginia from the Kentucky border all the way to Kanawha County. A cell drifted over Dunbar at 7:45PM, beginning with a heavy downpour that brought me outside during church to close the windows that I had left open in my truck. Seconds later, frequent cloud-to-ground lightning began to spark out of the cells. I grabbed the digital camera and took a few video clips for a couple of minutes before heading back inside. Below: Two clips of fairly close cloud-to-ground strikes in Dunbar, WV at about 7:45PM (RealVideo format - click photo to view):

(NOTE: The lightning in the above clips saturated the camera's exposure, making the flashes seem much brighter than they were in reality.)

After church, bright flashes were still surrounding Charleston, and I spent the next 2 hours at home shooting the fireworks.

More photos & data from April 17

Camera/Lens/Film: 35mm Pentax K1000 SLR, 28mm lens, Fujichrome Sensia II 100 slide.
Exposure: 15-30 seconds @ F5.6

[ click above images to enlarge ]

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