Storm Highway by Dan Robinson
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                   Saturday, June 5, 2010 - 11:59PM CDT

6/5 Hannibal, MO lightning

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I targeted Hannibal, Missouri today. I was concerned about ongoing cloud cover and precip fouling the primary risk area into Iowa and Illinois, but since some clearing was taking place, I didn't want to discount it. However, I was particularly interested in an outflow boundary in northern Missouri from the overnight complex of storms. This region was getting much more sunlight, and by 3PM, had 3000-4000 surface-based CAPE along and south of the boundary. Surface winds were southerly and 40+ knots of NW flow at 500mb were present overhead. Models showed convection in the vicinity of the boundary by late afternoon. Hannibal was the compromise between this and the area outlined by the SPC in Illinois. Storms happened in my target, but they were not tornadic as the ones farther northeast in Illinois. Apparently today was one of Illinois' worst tornado outbreaks in recent years, with the impact areas in the northern half of the state. I would not have been able to catch the Illinois supercells even if I had tried, so I wasn't too concerned about missing them.

The lightning show in Hannibal was spectacular after dark - unlike on Tuesday, this storm featured frequent, highly-visible cloud-to-ground flashes. Twice, a strike knocked out power to large chunks of the city with bright power flashes - wish I had been running the video camera.

click to enlarge:

Looking north over Hannibal at a 'scud bomb' under the shelf cloud with lightning behind it:

click to enlarge

I have never come across the term 'scud bomb' before but I like it! You are very lucky to live in such a lightning active climate. Great photos.
- Posted by Steven

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