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Ackerly

A gorgeous supercell slowly moves over the farmlands of Texas near the town of Ackerly.

Another image from May 31st when we were chasing marginal storms in west Texas hoping for something good and then a boundary collided with a storm near Lamesa and it exploded into a gorgeous supercell for about an hour.
This is near the town of Ackerly as it began to slowly die out, but not before it gave us some stunning lightning, structure and beautiful colors.

Near Lamesa, Texas

Outflow boundaries collided near Lamesa, Texas and despite it being a marginal day, we ended up with a gorgeous supercell for about 40 minutes.

The third day of my Plains Chase Tour this spring was a marginal one, we woke up in Garden City on May 31st and by mid-afternoon we were in Lubbock chasing storms to our south. We got on one that was okay, but then a storm near Lamesa formed and we noticed an outflow boundary headed for it from the east. We hoped it would give it some extra juice and by the time we got down there, it certainly turned into a full-fledged gorgeous supercell for about an hour.

This was southeast of Lamesa and wow did it look stunning. All the dust churning underneath and the teethy low clouds on the left side. One of my favorite storms from this spring and all on a marginal day!

Near Ackerly, Texas

A gorgeous supercell hovers over the farmlands near Ackerly, Texas

May 31st was one of those days where you would have been happy to see just about anything. Marginal, not much hope…and we had woken up early in Garden City, KS and drove all the way to Lubbock, Texas just for a shot.

We got on one storm early, but as it died out, a southern storm near Lamesa was growing and an outflow boundary was headed right for it. Once they merged, the storm went full-blown supercell and it lasted for around an hour…such a treat on a day when we were worried we wouldn’t see much!

Canyon Lake Monsoon Panoramic

Sometimes it’s hard to capture all the detail you want in a single image, so you have to go for the panoramic. I definitely recommend clicking on the photo to see the larger version. This picture is from my recent stormchasing adventure with my buddy Bryan. We drove down Apache Trail towards Canyon Lake and stopped just a little short of it to climb to the top of this hill to see what we could see.

Yes, I’ll verify that Bryan warned me that we were watching an approaching monsoon thunderstorm and the hill we chose to shoot from also had a couple of giant supports for powerlines on it, but that’s for the faint of heart to worry about!

What we loved about this spot was the color of the hills in contrast to stormy skies in the background. The sunlight from behind us still shown a little on them and it made for an awesome sight. You can see Canyon Lake on the left, with a massive downpour behind it. Some more rain is falling just behind the hills in the center of the photo, and the entire storm was moving slowly towards us.

By the time we climbed down and drove a little more, it started pouring pretty good.

Those hills and mountains around the Superstitions really created some amazing vistas to use when photographing our beautiful monsoons season here in Arizona. Hoping to get out there again sometime soon.

For those interested, this is a merge of three HDR shots created from three-bracketed images each.

Arc of Glory – Another epic Arizona sunset

(please click on the photo for a larger view)

I always hear from people that Arizona seems to have the best sunsets.  I actually  like a lot of the ones I see shot in Florida by a few photogs I know (example).

But I tend to agree about Arizona. Of course, I’m biased and also haven’t lived anywhere else *grin*

Last night was another one of those. I hadn’t been out in awhile to shoot the sunset, and that was mostly because we just haven’t had much in the way of clouds and weather lately. But this week a giant cold front moves through the southwest and the sky last night ended up being spectacular.

Usually I love it when the sun sets and then illuminates the underbelly of the cloudy sky, but this ended up being a little different. The fluffy clouds didn’t get lit up much, but the high clouds behind it exploded in a glorious arc of color, which ended up almost as a backlight to the forward, lower-lying clouds. It made for a spectacular sight. In some ways, it almost looks like a massive nuclear explosion on the horizon that is slowly expanding.

Technically, this is a merge of two, 3-shot HDRs. I worked on it late last night, and in the morning hours I wonder if I could have straightened the horizon a little more on the left. I may tweak it later before it hits the gallery.

This was shot just about half a mile from my house. Drove down a dirt road lined with tall weeds to find a nice desert shrub to help compose the foreground.