Sunday, September 28, 2014

Storm of the Summer I

August 26th was without a doubt the most incredible lightning event of the 2014 season. A lone cell to fire from just NW of the area would quickly mature into a ridiculous CG (cloud to ground) producing beast. Though I was unable to image any of the strikes while it was still daylight, the level of intensity was both extremely unsettling and on a level I have not experienced in recent memory. Two things I wish I had thought to do was a.) get video and b.) study meso-analysis to better understand why it was so insane with emphasis on regional CAPE values at the time. Beginning from NW of Decatur, lightning would not become an issue till NE of town out near Argenta so initially, I thought it would simply be a leisurely end of day structure tour.

This was where it began to get serious for while standing between a 200' power pole span, lightning struck the pole to my right placing me 100' from the point of contact. I would spend the remainder of the time inside a vehicle.

This scene does no justice for demonstrating the CG barrage occurring at the I-72 exit near Argenta. It was an incredibly beautiful storm but far too dangerous to be outside plus I was low on fuel and unable to stay ahead.

Abandoning so to backtrack for fuel, I was disappointed for not being able to get well ahead to somewhere safe as it was also capturing the light perfectly. Thinking this was it for the day with this particular storm now getting away from me, I was not prepared for what would come with nightfall.

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