“Lightning’s striking again,” sang Pittsburgh native Lou Christie in his 1966 hit single. If you’re like us, you were undoubtedly awakened during the wee hours Monday morning when mother nature delivered an epic spring thunderstorm to the region.

Pittsburgh-based photographer Dave DiCello used this extreme weather event, along with a bout of insomnia, to make amazing art.

The Washington Post picked up on DiCello’s one in a million, dramatic image of lighting striking the Monongahela River with Pittsburgh’s illuminated skyline as its backdrop.

Here’s how DiCello made history:

“Early Monday 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.”

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

DiCello also explains how insomnia made it all 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 describes the image as “one of my favorite lightning images” and the first “true” cloud-to-ground strike he has ever photographed. He adds: “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!”

See DiCello’s remarkable photo and read the entire article in The Washington Post.

About The Author

Arts + Events editor

Former arts & culture editor of Pop City; worked at the Mattress Factory, Brooklyn Museum of Art and Dahesh Museum of Art. Co-author of Pittsburgh Signs Project: 250 Signs of Western Pennsylvania and co-coordinator of Handmade Arcade. In a band called The Garment District; founding member of Brooklyn's The Ladybug Transistor.

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