Florida Keys Multiple Positively Charged Lightning Strike Event
August 20th, 2006
One of the most gorgeous lightning displays I have ever been able to photograph. The night started with a very slow distant infrequent
flashes that I certainly paid attention to - after all it is August and anything can happen and will happen when you least expect it. I have had
too many missed great events to just let things go in August. Well, the first three photos show an abrupt development of a line of
thunderstorms just off shore Upper Keys at about 3am. These cells were very close to the shoreline and propagated toward the camera.  As
usual in the Keys several bright and intense positively charged lightning strikes occurred just before the storms started to dissipate.
What is interesting is that this original line of strong thunderstorms passed through the Upper and Middle Keys and went on toward the open
water of Gulf of Mexico and lasted well into the morning hours without ever loosing the punch. Long time after they were gone I could have
still seen the frequent lightning strikes on my north-west horizon. The next in line was a very beautiful thunderstorm that formed in the same
area as the previous storms. This one did not move very much at all but rather produced an amazing amount of very photogenic positive
lightning bolts. Some of the better examples can be seen in the next four photographs. Unbelievable how the bolts paint the surrounding
midnight sky blue. This is exactly what I am looking for in lightning photography. Again, these bolts announced the near end of this storm.
The following six photos show yet another line of thunderstorms that formed within minutes of the first storms. You can see a main tower
within other smaller updrafts and this one was quite active and a very nice show to watch - it put out nearly continuous lightning strikes
before raining out thus ending it's lifetime. Also notice the hard outlined anvil. Again, positively charged lightning discharges occurred with
this thunderstorm as well. After this one was finished I drove to the southern end of the Seven Mile Bridge to wait if more storms would
fire during sunrise hours. And they did - in the Middle Keys - about 15 miles to my north. A little to far for comfort but anyway I still enjoyed
the sunrise with some background lightning and a bright moon all in the same view. That would be the very last photo on this page.  
All Images & Text
(c) 2006