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Thunderstorm

While going back to the dorms after a film society event, I noticed a group of people gathering at the balcony of the atrium. The glass top of the atrium was flashing white rapidly, each trailed by screams and yells of students. I walked over to the balcony, and saw a huge dark cloud slowly making its way towards us; a giant storms seemed imminent. Red lightning covered the horizon. I hung around for a while, filming parts of it on my ELPH. Seeing that I might still have time to run back to my dorm room, grab my camera, and come back before the storm hits, I went for it.

Red lightning

Red lightning

Minutes later, Nima and I, both wearing waterproof jacket and equipped with cameras, once again looked across the horizon, waiting for the storm. It took the giant mass another 40 minutes to reach us. By that time, it was about 11:30 PM. The sky was unusually dark, the water unusually calm. I could not see the clouds anymore with my bare eyes, but the low-light sensor on my DSLR and the crescendo of the wind hinted that they just hit the shore. Suddenly, i felt a drop of rain on my shoulder. The next thing I knew, I was screaming, “Nima, toss me my jacket!” while trying desperately to keep my camera dry and putting on my lens hood. The storm came faster than I had anticipated.

The events following can be more accurately described by a video Nima took:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M_xOLvl7PAE]

It was exactly what it looks like: I covered up my camera with my coat, and made my way into the storm. The rain was too hard and the fog/cloud was too dense for me to capture the lightning on film, but here’s a sample.

HKUST during a lighting storm

HKUST during a lighting storm

The white flash is caused by a giant lightning bursting in the sky, illuminating all of UST. The dark spot at the top right is a piece of my flaring coat.

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