Thunder on Thunderbird

August 6, 2009 by
Filed under: Summary 

5 Aug 9
Lake Thunderbird, Norman OK

Either I’ve been out of town, asleep, or at work for most of the best lightning opportunities in Norman this year. Last night, therefore, was a treat. After watching some recorded TV with my kids — namely a special on the Dallas Cowboys’ amazing 1993 season — I heard thunder in the distance. The radar loops showed some elevated storms firing over SW Oklahoma City and east of Lake Thunderbird. Both were sparking nicely by the time I went outside to look, so I tossed the camera bag in the car and headed a few miles over to the lake for some lightning viewing and photography.

My usual setup spot there for storms to the E and SE proved well worthwhile…for a couple of minutes! I only managed to get a handful of shots, one of which I was happy with (above and here), before the storms filled in on top of me. I had to wait out the rain and CGs for about half an hour. Photogenic lightning after that was very sporadic, and hit-and-miss (mostly missed, in my case). Nonetheless, the rain-cooled air refreshed and invigorated me, making the short trek well worthwhile, whatever the lightning photography results. Given our ongoing return to the summertime furnace, my lungs welcomed that cool, moist breeze like my stomach would accept a drink of water after a trek across the burning sands of Sonora.

After getting cored, most of the lightning to the SE and S was in-cloud and in-precip, though I did get a few shots of filamentous aerial discharges and distant CGs across the water. Some sparking and training echoes to the NW and W had me head to the other side of the bay for several shots of distant, core-edge CGs with the tan glow of OKC lights illuminating foreground clouds. Then the storms retreated, and it was time to saddle up and scoot on home.

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