July 7, 2004:

Isolated storms developed in the early afternoon on Wednesday.  These storms quickly organized and became severe as they moved generally to the northeast.  The coverage of storms began to increase and expand from north to south as they moved into Hampton Roads.  After the first line moved through and things began to settle down, another group of storms had formed to the west and was moving back into the area.  These storms although not as strong in most cases, were however just as bad with very heavy rains, some damaging winds which were isolated cases and very photogenic and frequent lightning.  Below are the digital photos of the storms.  Along with them is a small explanation of what was taking place.  To see a video of the storms click here!!!  And to see the video of the roof fire click here!!!

Just before the first set of storms hit, a shelf cloud or roll cloud could be seen out ahead of the storms.  Friend and fellow chaser Bill Coyle said he saw the same cloud structure up in Richmond just before the storms pounded the area.  This photo was taken from the Monitor Merrimack Bridge linking Hampton and Newport News to the south side of Hampton Roads.

After the first round of storms had passed by, the reports were pouring in of damaged houses, power lines, cars and many trees all across the area.  Here is a photo of a church in Chesapeake, the Great Bridge Presbyterian Church on Cedar Road was struck by lightning and started this small roof fire.  I shot video as well and it aired this morning on a local TV station, WAVY TV.  I will have that posted later.  Click here to see a clip of the fire.


As the second round of storms started moving in, I left the church and headed down Rt. 17 there in Chesapeake.  This photo was taken just off Ballahack Rd.  It looks like a classic super cell thunderstorm you see out on the Great Plains.  There was no rotation with this storm.

After driving into north east North Carolina following the line south, I pulled over on the side of the road along Hwy 158 and set the digital on the steering wheel of the truck and tried to shoot some lightning photos from inside.  I was successful on two tries.  The exposures were around 3 seconds.

After leaving the roadside and heading back north towards Virginia to get the video to the TV station, I could see these massive CGs hitting the ground and huge crawlers in the rearview mirror.  I had to pull over once again and this time set the camera on the tripod and started shooting away.  The photo above and the next few below are of that roadside photo shoot.  Camera for all photos on this page: Sony DSC F 717 digital.

All Images Copyright Jesse V. Bass III and
Copyright 2004 All Rights Reserved