Saturday, May 29, 2010

Thursday's lightning storm over the Blue Ridge Mountains

Thunderstorms in the mountains are neat. Years ago when I lived near Blowing Rock, NC, I was amazed as thunder boomed off the mountains, rolling off into the distance only to have another boom start the whole process again, over and over and over.

Thursday night as I left Texas Steakhouse in Staunton, I couldn't help but notice lightning to the east. The restaurant is located on a hill with an excellent view of the Blue Ridge Mountains so I pulled out my camera that is usually with me and, after watching for a while, began to try and capture an image of the lightning that obviously was there to stay for a while.

I was not successful but the light show provided by the storm was awe inspiring. Clouds were lighted or silouetted as well as the mountains ... shades of red, pinkish, orangy in bursts of brilliant white could be seen ... and it was continuous with muted far-off thunder, not the loud sounds-like-a-bowling-alley kind usually heard in the mountains.

The lightning didn't stop even thought I sat and watched for a long time. My reflexes were too slow to capture it by camera. When I uploaded the photos onto my computer that night, they showed merely a blurry-looking light in darkness. Too bad ... it was beautiful to watch in person.

Today's Waynesboro News Virginian has a story about that very lightning. Apparently I wasn't the only one who was captivated by the light show over the mountains, and reporter Tony Gonzalez included some statistics. Did you know lightning flashed 600 times every five minutes that night? No wonder so many were watching!

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