August 5, 2003 Alrington Nebraska Storm

This was very much an unexpected chase. While letting the dogs run on the hill near my parent's house, I noticed a tower to the north! The only thing on radar, for probably hundreds of miles, forms north of town, unknownst to me. I thought what the. I ran back to my appartment, grabbed my cam and took a couple shots in town. I messed around back home as these low level clouds screwed up my view. Thanks goes out to Steve Peterson in my msn messenger window telling me to go back out. It looked like crap on radar, but was full of lightning and all alone dropping ssw. My hope was to somehow get the moon and the lit up tower together. It was messy looking until it over took me and passed to my south near Arlington. It was there that I saw the moon and stars break out right behind the small storm. The only spot I could find had powerlines in it(first pic). I took a couple there then flew back east as the west end seemed to be weakening. Then I dropped south, watching my moon get too far west to be in the shot with the tower. After nearly trashing my car at a railroad crossing I jumped on the closest gravel road I could find. It had powerlines as well! I drove backwards to get out of the ones on the horizon. Finally, about a block I stop and take some more shots. I realized my storm needed to backbuild west at this point, to get the moon with it. Well, it does big time. On radar it goes from nw Omaha nearly due sw to Lincoln. These odd bolts kept jumping up into the sky, out of the storm. The first one I htought was a sprite or something as I caught it out of the corner of my eye. This was pretty cool for any night, let alone another totally unexpected one. The only other time I've got the moon and lit up tower together was this year on a similar night with no thoughts of storms. Any white dots seen in the cornfield next to me are that of lightning bugs. The red light to the lower right is likely from the power plant sw of Fremont. Omaha is just to the se of this storm, which helps with the red coloring to the sky on the left side.

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