Wednesday, August 06, 2008

The Birth of a Thunderstorm

A little before midnight, I was writing a brief for a colleague when I noticed that the sky was beginning to light up to the southeast. At first, one gets bummed when it's in the SE because about 99% of the storms here come from the west, southwest in summer and northwest in winter.

I paid no mind to the storm until I turned out the lights and went to bed. It seemed to be lighting up the room more than I would have imagined for a storm moving away. I got up to peer out of the window and found the entire southern sky flashing with a constant flickering light.

I grabbed a beer and headed out to the front porch where I was provided a spectacle of flashes as the lightning back-lit the billowing clouds. The entire southern sky, from east to west, was participating as if they were engaged in a competitive dance. From my parents' place, which sits up on a hill in the countryside, we frequently set aside all things to watch a storm roll across the sky and this was no exception. My stepdad came out to join me for a few minutes. The panoramic and unhindered view is exceptional at their place both to the north and the south.

I've downloaded the WeatherBug app on my iPhone because it allows me to quickly look at radar maps and get weather alerts. When I'd first looked at it, the radar had a tiny red dot over Clinton, MO. But as the night wore on, those red dots multiplied in a string from east to west... this storm was definitely spawning right in front of my eyes. Unfortunately, the iPhone camera isn't built to capture this type of brilliance.

The yellow and blue flashes kept my attention for almost half an hour; which is when the bugs started buzzing around my ears and I headed back in.

I didn't relent though, I pulled up a chair to my bedroom window and watched for another few minutes until I decided it was time for bed.

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