Archives for May 2008

The Final Hurrah

Our last day of storm chasing was fairly quiet as far as tornados were concerned but, the skies still put on a show for us.  The day began with a clear blue sky.  As we headed towards Kansas looking for activity and moving closer to our final destination the clouds began to build, god beams shined down upon us, all was well with the world.

Continuing southeast the weather began to look a bit more promising…

And while we never did get a tornado on our last day, we had one final, amazing day of storm chasing, ending with a fireworks show of lightning dancing across the sky non-stop.

It has been a week filled excitement, anticipation, long drives (2400 miles and 4 states in all), quick stops at the handy mart for bathroom breaks and snacks, comraderie of new friends and a better understanding of the power of mother nature.  Thanks once again to the great crew from Tempest Tours (Bill, Brian, Keith & Steve) who so willingly shared their knowledge of everything weather.  Their passion is infectious…I am hooked on storm chasing.

Images captured on Nikon D3, AF-S 24-70mm on Lexar Digital Media.

Super Cells

The day began with high expectations.  All the elements were in place, the numbers were favorable, it was shaping up to be a high tornadic day.  So, off we went, using the storm software to guide us to the best location for viewing a tornado.  Around midday we had to make a decision…keep on track in hopes the tornado would develop as anticipated or follow a new cell for awhile to see what shaped up.  Our great storm chase team made the call to follow the new cell and we were rewarded with some amazing storm clouds.  We positioned in a good place to watch a possible tornado develop, the clouds were flying, they began turning, churning, all the elements that could give us what we came for.  Our shutters were clicking rapidly.  No tornado but some incredible skies….

The greenish cast in the far distant cloud is hail…big hail…3 1/4 inch hail.

Dramatic skies, shadow & highlight screamed B&W

We could feel the power of the storm at this close proximity.

Images captured with Nikon D3, AF-S 24-70mm on Lexar Digital Media

Meet The Chase Crew

With a long day ahead of us to get into position for big storms on Thursday we made a couple of stops to stretch our legs and see some sights.

Our first stop was at Dorothy’s place (hey we’re in Kansas after all). The chase crew (from left to right Brian, Steve, Bill & Keith) decided to pose as munchkins (they may regret this when they see this photo). Would you trust these guys to take you to the brink of a tornado and back safely? You bet! They are great guys who are passionate about storms and really know their stuff.

I encountered the Tin man gazing off into space wishing for a heart.

Our next stop was at Monument Rocks, KS

Monument Rocks, KS

We are now positioned in North Platte, Nebraska for Thursdays big storm….let the chase continue!

Images captured with Nikon D3, AF-S 24-70mm (last image with AF 16mm Fisheye) on Lexar Digital Media

Chase Day #4

We had a quiet day today but that did not stop us from seeking out any weather we could find. The clouds were spectacular…

and we had an opportunity to photograph some scenics. I love all the old, weathered barns that dot landscape.

I have to hand it to our guides at Tempest Tours, Bill, Brian, Steve and Keith. They really go the extra mile (and I do mean extra miles) to find the best storm opportunities for us driving hundreds of miles a day tirelessly in search of the big storm. Their dedication and passion is infectious.

Images captured with Nikon D3, AF-S 24-70mm on Lexar Digital Media