Last July, on the day after we moved to Chicago, we experienced an epic thunderstorm. For a lifelong weather junkie, it was exhilarating to watch from the 30th floor as vivid cloud-to-ground lightning flashed across a panaroma of dozens of miles.
It was a little frightening, too, especially when it started to hail heavily (this was the same storm that inflicted severe damage to greenhouses at the city’s Garfield Park Conservatory). At that time, we were still waiting for the moving van to arrive from the East, and our apartment was completely empty save for two canvas folding chairs and an Aerobed. The hailstorm created the sensation of being trapped in a box suspended 300 feet off the ground while being pelted by small stones.
Ever since, I’ve wondered if I’d ever master capturing photos of lightning, especially since I bought the cool camera (a Sony Nex-3) that is responsible for most of the photos on the blog. Last night, I got a chance to try as a spring storm lit up the skies around midnight. While I’ve got a lot of work to do to get this just right, here’s what it looked like out the western windows.
Shooting toward the lake is more problematic, as the reflection off the water turns lightning into more of a blinding flash. Most of my attempted shots produced nothing but pure white lightning. Here’s one that at least kept a little scenery for perspective.
There are, however, an increasing number of the more benign signs that spring is nigh, for real this time.
For instance, there are….
Last Sunday, Chicago O’Hare reported a high of 66, a low of 45 and a trace of precipitation. Washington Reagan National reported a high of 74, a low of 48 and no rain. A close call, but a slight edge for D.C.
On Monday, Chicago O’Hare reported a high of 63, a low of 41 and a trace of precipitation. Washington Reagan National reported a high of 69, a low of 53 and a trace of rain. Another narrow win for D.C.
On Tuesday, Chicago O’Hare reported a high of 46, a low of 34 and no precipitation. Washington Reagan National reported a high of 68, a low of 45 and no rain. Well, that’s a no brainer.
On Wednesday, I had a ticket to the Cubs game. You know where this is going. Chicago Midway reported a high of 54, a low of 32 and no precipitation. But Washington Reagan National reported a high of 56, a low of 40 and .01 rain. Close enough to cut Chicago a break.
On Thursday, Chicago Midway reported a high of 63, a low of 32 and no precipitation. Washington Reagan National reported a high of 63, a low of 42 and no rain. The point goes to Chicago on the “above seasonal average” rule.
On Friday, Chicago Midway reported a high of 66, a low of 40 and no rain. Washington Reagan National reported a high of 67, a low of 45 and no rain. Point Chicago (see above).
And on Saturday, I finally got a little warm weather for a baseball game, and we dodged the threat of rain. Naturally, this was a home game for the South Side Chicago White Sox and not the Cubs. Chicago Midway reported a high of 67, a low of 54 and .16 of an inch of precipitation (almost all of that very late at night). Washington Reagan National reported a high of 75, a low of 46 and no rain. Point: D.C.
All that edges D.C.’s overall lead to 139-115.