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  • Andrew Pritchard

August Convection

Tornado season passed me up altogether, and it seemed like the summer lightning season was poised to do the same. After spending the majority of July and August under a fall-like weather pattern, enjoying unseasonably cool, but unseasonably boring weather, things finally swung the other direction. Temperatures this week have returned to the 90 degree mark across much of the midwest, with dew point rising to near 80 degrees at times. Air you can wear, as they say. With a weak front slowly meandering back and forth over the area we’ve seen several waves of slow moving thunderstorm clusters erupt over the area through the first part of the week.

Monday afternoon and evening was quite stormy over Champaign-Urbana for much of the evening, with the thunderstorm complex slowly moving off to the south after sunset. I headed just south of town to a favorite spot and decided to squeeze in my first lightning photos of the summer. It was a mostly frustrating endeavor; the lightning ended up skipping the foreground I had in mind, and I missed several of the better early bolts as I was still dialing in the settings on my camera.

Tuesday had me out earlier in the day. I noticed thunderstorms going up early in the afternoon nearby, so I took the afternoon off from work to go play. It is sad sad times when you are leaving work early for zero shear, high instability, stationary pulse thunderstorms. But it is what it is – and the storms showed me this by immediately dying as I left the house. Luckily, round two quickly followed as another storm erupted around 4 PM directly over the house. After playing in the garden out back, the sky clouded over and cloud to ground lightning bolts began shelling the neighborhood. I grabbed the camera again and was treated to a little bit of convective fun just to the south of town.

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SKYDRAMA | Meteorologist & Atmospheric Photographer Andrew Pritchard

I'm a meteorologist born and raised in the American Midwest passionate about forecasting and observing severe storms.

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