GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Eastern North Carolina sees a particularly high density of lightning strikes compared to other parts of the country.

In fact, our state ranked sixth for lightning fatalities between 1995 and 2010. While lightning is dangerous, it can be beautiful if viewed from a safe distance. At the end of April, the skies opened up and put on one of the best lightning shows our area has seen in quite a while.

During the morning of that day, the WNCT Storm Prediction Center put Eastern North Carolina in a level 1 out of 5 risk for severe weather. Nothing too crazy but much higher than the usual zero.

Loving weather the way I do, I drove out west near Raleigh that evening and watched a supercell thunderstorm develop about an hour before sunset. I watched the storm evolve and become severe, with several updrafts fighting for control.

One of the cells created a swirl above my head, I’d seen something similar to this on a storm chase in Montana.

The storms matured as it got darker, and after driving through some hail, I emerged on the other side to one of the most impressive lightning shows I’ve seen in a while. The near-constant flashes illuminated a sculpted storm structure as the mature supercell moved to the east and eventually out of our area.