A splendid distant lightning display was one of my storm chase and intercept rewards.
Strategy- July 3rd, 2016:
After a spell of searing heat and dry weather, an opening appears before me in the form of thunderstorms clustered around Wichita Falls, TX; slowly moving eastward. A second cluster lines north/south across southern Oklahoma.
My aim is to intercept the biggest and best of the bunch, so I take off from the Dallas area around 6 pm and head north on I-35 towards the Red River. My goal is wild winds, rains and magnificent lightning.
A massive anvil cloud extends out from the storm complex hugging the Red River east of Wichita Falls. As I move north of Denton, the storms in southern Oklahoma dissipate but the ones near Wichita Falls remain strong. I modify my goal from Durant OK to somewhere west of Gainesville, TX along 82 West.
Here is the radar presentation of the storm line. It’s my hope they will hold together so we may intercept one another in the middle.
About 25 miles west of Gainesville, the first storm clouds appear as artistic silhouettes upon distant sun drenched sky.
Alas, west of Muenster, TX, the first towers appear, inviting me to join them. It’s cool how I could see all the way through to the other side of the storm line.
How soul nourishing it feels inside of me, as joy fills my heart. I’ve hungered for an intercept like this for months – me, the vast sky and wild clouds dancing within. An occasional lightning branch dances within the towers up ahead.
This hilltop view yields a majestic view of storm layout. I thrill to its awesome beauty.
Towards nightfall, a distant lightning show unfolds. This and the following lightning photos are taken from about 2 miles south of St. Joseph, TX.
Lightning comes closer, and I celebrate its fiery magnificence.
My heart fills with awe and delight as I behold God’s electric creation.
Of particular interest is the snake-like nature of the lighting, and the lack of ribbons and branchlets.
This interesting discharge travels almost as far sideways close to the earth as it does between earth and sky. Notice the distant simultaneous lightning bolt dimly over the horizon, probably around 100 miles away.
Here is a crop of that awesome discharge.
All during this dusk show, my heart fills with reverence, awe and gratitude for beholding this wonderful show.
With a 1.5 hour drive back home, I’m guided by spirit to break away and return to the Dallas area.
Meanwhile a storm several miles south of me begins to kick itself up into gear, bringing frequent lightning and strong winds blasting against my car. At the same time, a new storm pops up over the northern horizon, offering occasional leaping bolts. A very dramatic escort towards I-35, Gainesville and beyond.
Story and Images Copyright 2016, Stephen Eric Levine.