Posts

The Katie, Oklahoma tornado

A powerful, EF3 tornado spins through the small rural community of Katie, Oklahoma on May 9th, 2016.

I’m still in utter disbelief that I saw what I did two days ago in Oklahoma. What turned out to be a destructive and deadly tornado was at the same time one of the most beautiful and amazing things I’ve ever seen in my life. When I turned down this road and it was right down the center…I almost lost my mind. And it seemed to hang out there as it was obviously moving right towards me. I eventually moved south to time-lapse it from a different spot, but Ruppe Road and Katie, Oklahoma will always be a place I remember. And Chester Barnes, an old man who lost his life somewhere near here.

I have more tornado photos to share as well, of this one, of it roping out, of the wedge later near Sulphur and a third one near Connorville. What a day.

(Technical notes. Wish I had taken the time for a tripod and not f/4, but when a tornado is coming your way…you forget things. You can also compare this to the first shot I posted…taken from the exact same location, that one was a 135mm and this was 16mm)

Road to Hell

A beautiful, sculpted supercell roams the plains of the Oklahoma Panhandle.

(Thanks to Steve Baka for the title!)

I left Phoenix last Thursday at 5:30pm and roughly 24 hours later, I was standing here in the Oklahoma Panhandle utterly in awe of this sculpted supercell crossing the highway.

I had been patient most of the afternoon and when I settled in on this cell southeast of Dalhart, TX…it didn’t look like much. But we knew it was still early and the magic could still happen. Sure enough, as it neared the town of Dalhart, it merged with another cell and suddenly the storm began to rotate more and the structure slowly appeared.

57 miles later, and the thing was a beast. So many great time-lapses from this day and the day after…a great start to filming The Chase II…can’t wait for the next time I head out there!

Branchless

June 30th last year down south of Tucson was such a surprising night. Shear was abnormally awesome. We saw a couple of supercells and one of them was this guy slowly moving over the Santa Rita Mountains. Love this branchless lightning...it starts off jagged but then gets that smooth, curved look that I really only see out on the plains most of the time. And that structure to the left...oh my

June 30th last year down south of Tucson was such a surprising night. Shear was abnormally awesome. We saw a couple of supercells and one of them was this guy slowly moving over the Santa Rita Mountains. Love this branchless lightning…it starts off jagged but then gets that smooth, curved look that I really only see out on the plains most of the time. And that structure to the left…oh my!

Rapid City IV

A decaying supercell hovers over the Rapid City, South Dakota area, dropping rain and gorgeous lightning bolts.

A decaying supercell hovers over the Rapid City, South Dakota area, dropping rain and gorgeous lightning bolts.

This dying storm over Rapid City on June 1st, 2015 was so amazing…so many bolts came out of it, I was in total heaven. This is the fourth image from this spot that I’ve shared, and I still have a couple more strikes that I might edit at some point!

But it just has me itching to do some chasing…cannot wait to get out there!

Haven’t posted much in the past week, been on a little vacation with the wife enjoying a much needed break from the kiddos and work. Back now though and ready for things to get crazy again!

Bubbles III

With light waning in the day and not wanting to chase tornadoes in the dark, we decided to sit and watch this incredibly peaceful scene of mammatus clouds moving away from us over the Kansas prairie.

May 24th of last year was an amazing chase day. Last week I posted some supercell photos from earlier in the afternoon and this was one of the final scenes of the day. We knew there was a potential for tornadoes east of us but chasing in the dark and catching up with them seemed impossible, so we say back and took in this breathtaking scene. I’d never seen mammatus like this in person before and it was incredible to behold. The day was almost over, but we still had an awesome lightning storm headed our way that we’d enjoy for a few more hours yet!

Colossal

A monster supercell begins to cross highway 385 south of Lamar, Colorado. We had raced north as the rain began to hit us, and we stopped after a few miles to take in the view of this incredible storm and that stunning blue-green hailcore.

This panoramic has been sitting on my computer in seven pieces because up until yesterday, I’ve had zero luck stitching it together. I tried everything…Photoshop, Lightroom, third party pano apps…nothing worked. Not sure why, but major fails on every attempt.

But I updated to the latest Photoshop CC over the weekend and decided to try one more time…and BAM, it worked! Couldn’t believe my eyes.

I’ve been dying to get this thing together, because it’s one of my favorites last year and maybe all-time. Such a beastly supercell south of Lamar, Colorado on May 24th, 2015. Beautiful structure, gorgeous green hail core and toss in the road/cars to give it some scale.

We had been a few miles south watching it approach us, and then we had to race north as the rain/hail began to hit us. We stopped after a few miles to take in this incredible view before continuing on to keep in front of it.

Spring is just around the corner…

The Crossing

A ragged shelf cloud rolls across western Nebraska on June 2nd, bringing heavy rain behind it.

Those days when you try and try and try to see a supercell but nothing goes up near you and so you try to salvage the day by at least getting a nice shelf cloud in western Nebraska.

June 2nd, 2015…standing here right next to my buddy Matt Grans and his friend Nancee Rostad…this was a perfect moment with zero traffic on the road and a nice little shelf cloud crossing in front of us. Rare to get a time-lapse of something like this from right in the middle of a road and no cars come by…sometimes you risk it and hope for the best!

Drillbit

As we stood there watching a radpidly rotating wall cloud spin west of Canadian, Texas...a little drillbit of a funnel started to drop and while it never touched the ground that we saw, it was stunning to see in person.

Ahhh…I can’t wait for spring to get here! This was May 27th, 2015…as we stood there watching a rapidly rotating wall cloud spin west of Canadian, Texas…a little drillbit of a funnel started to drop and while it never touched the ground that we saw, it was stunning to see in person.
I think that was the first time I’d ever really seen a funnel form like that right in front of my eyes. So badly wanted it to touch the ground.

Salome

I love this shot mainly because it was the only lightning bolt that I saw come out of this little cell and it took about 15 minutes for it to happen. Patience is not one of my best qualities, but nothing else was happening around me and so I decided to just aim at the spot the rain was falling and hope to get lucky. And boom, this gorgeous strike right after sunset...west of Tonopah along Salome Highway.  That's a good strategy out here in Arizona...lightning can do anything for the most part, but if you aren't sure where it's going to happen, aim at the rain shaft and you've upped your chances at capturing something.
I love this shot mainly because it was the only lightning bolt that I saw come out of this little cell and it took about 15 minutes for it to happen. Patience is not one of my best qualities, but nothing else was happening around me and so I decided to just aim at the spot the rain was falling and hope to get lucky. And boom, this gorgeous strike right after sunset…west of Tonopah along Salome Highway.

That’s a good strategy out here in Arizona…lightning can do anything for the most part, but if you aren’t sure where it’s going to happen, aim at the rain shaft and you’ve upped your chances at capturing something

Another world

Standing here, near Bledsoe, Texas on the night of May 29th...it felt like I had traveled to another planet. The wind, the storm, the lightning...but it was the surreal orange glow everywhere that created this otherworldy mood which I'll never forget.

Standing here, near Bledsoe, Texas on the night of May 29th…it felt like I had traveled to another planet. The wind, the storm, the lightning…but it was the surreal orange glow everywhere that created this otherworldly mood which I’ll never forget. It was utterly amazing and mesmerizing. One of those moments you wish would never end.