From the ABC 7 Weather team

Best weather related birthday present ever

May 5, 2014 - 08:19 PM
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I received a fantastic surprise weather related gift for my birthday last month. What do you think?

I have long been a nut for thunderstorms. Though I am terrified of lightning and would never think of going outside in a storm they still fascinate me and always will. I especially love viewing thunderstorms and happened to view a storm over Charleston, SC from Fripp Island, SC back on August 22, 2011. I happened to be on vacation, and this happened to be a day before the Virginia Earthquake, and the week of Hurricane Irene which I quickly drove back for.

Thunderstorm over Charleston, SC taken from Fripp Island, SC

The storm I captured (on an iPhone 4) from Fripp was a severe thunderstorm located over the Charleston, SC area which dropped golf ball sized hail over Goose Creek. It just happened to be the perfect setting, with the sun setting and light winds in the area allowing for the perfect reflection on the water. The one bad thing I remember about taking this picture was I ended up with about 40 mosquito bites, which was totally worth it. If you don't think I love this picture, not only did I have one blown up and framed for my mother, but I also have had it as my iPhone background for the past 3 years!

The surprise came this year, as my girlfriend was wondering what to get me for my birthday. Her friend recently started painting and found out she had a knack for it. Not only is Talia Piazza a fantastic artist, but it just so happened she's also beaten breast cancer... TWICE. She's an incredibly tough woman, who my girlfriend met in college and has been close friends with ever since.

Painting of the picture

She ended up painting my photo, which I had no clue was going on. The painting came out amazing, so I of course wanted to share it on the weather blog. I already have it hanging on my wall in my apartment and will definitely have it in my home the rest of my life. I just wanted to share the fantastic gift idea with everyone else out there from one weather nerd to all the others.

Comparison of the painting (top) to my photo (bottom)

To see more of Tia's work, visit her Etsy shop here.

She also just so happens to run a Bake Shop in Pittsburgh, PA with another one of her friends. You can find that here.

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