When I left work last night, a big dark cloud loomed off to the west. I began to rain some as I drove home, but I already had an idea in my head to go out to take pictures that night, so I tried to ignore it. I ran home and grabbed the new camera, and then headed to downtown Little Rock to take some pictures.
I parked the car and walked over to a bridge over I-630. It was a bit eerie out there since the tornado sirens were going off. I then realized that in my haste to leave home, I forgot my cellphone. I felt a bit disconnected, especially if there was a bad storm approaching. But downtown was quiet (except for the sirens), it wasn't even raining out there.
The sirens continued to wail as it got darker, but nary a drop of rain had fallen. I went over to the other side of the bridge for this shot of the freeway and the distant state capitol.
I got back to my car and found a local radio station that was broadcasting the weather from Channel 11. I heard about how bad the approaching storm really was - it had spawned a tornado that set down south of the city. Among the talk of "hook echos" and "wall clouds," the weather guy said that the storm that set off the tornado was now over west Little Rock. Actually it was just passing over the office where I work. Then it made its way north, and passed directly over my apartment. Luckily it wasn't bad there, just rain and hail. It made me glad I was downtown, where things were still calm.
I drove over the river to Riverfront Park in North Little Rock. I wanted to get better pictures of the new sculpture there. I took a few pictures as flashes of lightning brightened the sky. I quickly moved over in an attempt to get a picture of the lightning, with the sculpture serving as something interesting to sit in the foreground.
There was a lot of lightning that night. After many pictures where I missed lightning, this bolt dropped down just as the camera was in the process of taking a picture.
It was then that I realized that standing next to a tall metal sculpture is not the best place to be in a lightning storm, so I headed on home. The worst of the storm had passed, but waves of heavy rain and hail still passed through town for the next several hours. I freaked out when two hail storms came through, bombarding my apartment complex and my poor new car. Luckily it survived it without picking up any dents or dings...