The excessive heat for the past ten days kept attendance at many outdoor events down. Alton, IL; St Charles, MO; and "Fair St Louis" blasted their fireworks. Let me describe an unscripted fireworks display, three days later than the Fourth, which we all saw...
Saturday night at 5:30p.m. I did my weekly grocery shopping. In the Schnuck's parking lot to the West, a sword of lightning cleaved the sky. A nearby woman, a bit startled, commented: "Is that thunder? What a wonderful sound."
A "dragon cloud" formed in the Eastern sky. A "cold front" was pushing into the "Ring of Fire" (the dome of High Pressure over us for the past ten days). "Dragon clouds" are formed from sudden atmospheric updrafts and frequently portend wind and rain. Sure enough, by the time I finished shopping and headed home to cook, there was a stiff breeze from the Southeast.
By the time I finished dinner, heat lightning was bouncing across the Southern sky. I poured myself a Harvey Wall-banger and took a comfortable seat on my balcony which gives me a 180 degree view of the sky. For the next several hours, I was rewarded with a fireworks show of breath-taking beauty. Lightning, in all shapes and configurations, lit up the sky.
To the South, the heat lightning continued with random periodicity. To the East, long vertical "fingers" and swords of lightning would leap from cloud cover to horizon, too far away for me to hear any thunder. Occasionally, "spider legs" of lightning would burst horizontally from the cloud cover; these lasted the least amount of time, but were the most awesome.
The "show" began tapering off. Promptly at 10:30p.m., perhaps as a finale, three man-made fireworks ascended and exploded over the Eastern horizon: green, silver, and gold streamers raining down. However, man's imitation of nature was only second-best. I will always remember nature's lightning show on 7/7/12: a dragon cloud followed by lightning in all its forms. Did you see it? Add a comment to this blog post with your best description of the event.