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Pittsburgh photographer captures ‘once in a lifetime’ lightning shot

Lightning strikes Pittsburgh’s Monongahela River at 4:30 a.m. Monday. ( <a href="">Dave DiCello Photography</a> via Facebook)

Early this morning, photographer Dave DiCello was awakened by a thunderstorm sweeping through Pittsburgh. He had trouble falling back to sleep — a stroke of fortune sparking an unforgettable shot.

At 4:30 a.m., DiCello documented a vivid multi-pronged cloud-to-ground lightning strike on Pittsburgh’s Monongahela River fronting the city skyline.

“It certainly was a (possible) once in a lifetime capture,” DiCello wrote on his Facebook page.

He explained how insomnia made it possible:

I was awoken by the storms today about 2:15 and after remembering that I never closed the garage door, [I] wasn’t able to fall back asleep. So, after getting a few things done, I checked the radar, and saw more storms were on their way, closing in fast on the city, getting in my car at 3:52. Well, just 28 minutes later, I was completely soaked when this INCREDIBLE bolt struck the Monongahela River in Pittsburgh.

DiCello described it as “one of my favorite lightning images” and the first “true” cloud-to-ground strike he has photographed. “If you look closely at the river, you can actually see bolts coming back up OUT OF the water, which I’ve never been able to capture before,” he wrote. “Well worth not being able to sleep and getting completely soaked!”

DiCello captured several more eye-popping images, which he shared on Twitter (and Faceboook):

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