Storm Highway by Dan Robinson
Weather, photography and the open roadClick for an important message
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                   Saturday, August 14, 2010 - 7:49AM CDT

Chicago lightning chase #7, wind turbines

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Another run to Chicago for what turned out to be yet another lightning bust for this thunderstorm-challenged city. I came away with one distant CG behind the Sears Tower and 311 South Wacker.

click to enlarge

On the way home, a second line of storms moved across central Illinois toward my I-55 travel route. Some bolts were beginning to show themselves by the time I reached Lexington, and off to the southeast I could see the flashing red lights from one of the many wind farms that dot the state. A wind turbine+lightning shot has been on my 'wish list' for a while, so I decided to give it a try. The wind farm was much farther off of the interstate than it first appeared, and it ended up taking me a good 25 minutes to finally reach them and get set up. Thankfully, the storms kept producing CGs, allowing me to check another photo goal off of the 'lifetime list'.

Soon, the gust front and a monster shelf cloud from the collapsing storms to the west arrived. I turned up the ISO to 1600 and sacrificed a blown-out CG in order to capture the impressive structure:

click to enlarge

The wind turbine venture put me in line to pass through Decatur, IL on the way home, so I stopped in to visit with fellow observer/photographer/blogger Paul Hadfield. I finally arrived back home just after 7AM.

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