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Convenient upward lightning location!
The Prairie State power plant is a new coal-fired generator station going in near the town of Marissa, IL, about 15 miles south of where I live in New Baden. I have seen this in the distance since I moved here, but never got around to looking up information on it until now. Here is the view of it from the County Line Road bridge over I-64 in New Baden:
click to enlarge
The smokestack is 700 feet high, which is solidly in the range for upward lightning initiation. I've been missing this thing getting hit all spring and summer and never realizing it. There are no tall towers on the Illinois side of the St. Louis metro (there are at least 8 of them on the Missouri side). It will be nice to just drop a few miles south and have an upward lightning option to add to the expedition 'tool kit'. Now we just need some storms again - it's been a while.