Storm Highway by Dan Robinson
Weather, photography and the open roadClick for an important message
Storm Highway by Dan RobinsonClick for an important message
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                   Friday, June 12, 2009 - 12:33PM

Thursday, June 11 WV chase

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DASHCAM VIDEO: Close call with deer on I-77

Thursday was one of those days where things didn't look all that great, but I had this nagging feeling like I would miss something if I stayed home. Around mid-afternoon, I drove to Beckley to get into position for either flash flooding or close lightning, whichever I could get. The complex over southern WV quickly fizzled though, and I didn't end up with much other than a couple of CGs on video (not really worth posting). Most of my chases, even the 'busted' ones, are rarely totally useless though - and this one was no different as I did find a great spot to shoot storms in the Beckley suburb of Bradley. It is a high hill, with great views in nearly all directions, with the added bonus of high-tension power lines overhead for lightning protection - meaning I can safely set up outside of the truck. Every lightning flash overhead also makes the power lines emit a crackling/sizzling sound, which is a nice effect.

I got back to Charleston, shooting a rainbow over Belle across the river. Other than that, no other photo opportunities presented themselves.

click to enlarge

Despite the stable air behind the first complex, a small area of surface-based instability was present in central WV to the north of the earlier MCS track. So, I got back on the road at dusk to try to get into viewing position of new storms moving in from southeast Ohio. On I-77 near Pocatalico, a deer darted out in front of me and I missed it by about 20 feet (see the video from the dashcam). This was yet another startling reminder of the real dangers of storm chasing, just days after the very same hazard caused Fabian's accident.

A few minutes later, it was apparent the storms were dying - evidently due to being too close to the stable air left behind the earlier storms. I turned around at Goldtown and called it a day.

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