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Overnight and dawn lightning in Okawville and New Baden, IL
A nearly continuous volley of thunderstorms over the St. Louis metro area lasted for over 12 hours starting at roughly 4AM on Wednesday morning. I covered the first half of this overnight, starting downtown and working my way east toward home. Visible lightning over downtown was not photogenic due to low clouds, but several storms put on a nice show over the Illinois prairies to the east. I caught these two shots - first in Okawville, and then New Baden just after dawn.
With more nighttime storms expected tonight, I chose to get my much-needed sleep in during the middle of the day and forfeit covering the additional storms moving over during the morning and early afternoon. Long-duration storm events like these are like a car race - at some time you have to 'pit' and get some rest. You just have to pick which storms to miss when doing so. Storms in the morning and midday tend to be the weakest due to limited instability, so I chose to 'pit' and sleep during this time. Despite that, a couple of storms in the metro produced hail a little larger than one inch.
The main event of this system is tomorrow, so we're only just getting started. Stay tuned!