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The End

Driving through an abandoned town and then turning the corner to see this scene was truly one I'll never forget. We had just witnessed the Dora tornado 30 minutes before, and so we blasted towards the storm in hopes of seeing another one. This was just as good. The sun igniting the rain into a horizon of orange, the blue hail core in the supercell and lightning. It was incredible to witness. I know if I returned to this spot during the day, it would seem normal and boring. But on this night, with the wind, the colors...the lightning...it felt like we were watching the end of the world or something.
(please click to view on black // canon 5d mark iii, canon 16-35mm f/2.8 l, 16mm,. iso 100, f/8.0, 5 sec // buy print)

If you are interested in a print, you can click the link above and use coupon code “chase2015” for 25% off!

I’m proud of this one…not just the shot itself, but just the fact that we were even here to witness it. It took us hours to make our way southeast through a southeast moving line of storms. It was brutal. Hail, rain, traffic in Clovis, NM…but somehow, someway we got out in front of this thing.

Driving through an abandoned town and then turning the corner to see this scene was truly one I’ll never forget. We had just witnessed the Dora tornado 30 minutes before, and so we blasted towards the storm in hopes of seeing another one. This was just as good. The sun igniting the rain into a horizon of orange, the blue hail core in the supercell and lightning. It was incredible to witness. I know if I returned to this spot during the day, it would seem normal and boring. But on this night, with the wind, the colors…the lightning…it felt like we were watching the end of the world or something.

Also I have 477 frames of this storm on time-lapse! Can’t wait to share it all!

From May 29th near Bledsoe, TX.

Artesia II

A beautiful supercell rotates over the deserts southwest of Artesia, New Mexico.
(please click to view on black // canon 5d mark iii, rokinon 14mm f/2.8, iso 100, f/8, 1/60th // buy print)

Here’s a shot from May 23rd, 2014 that I never edited. Taken southwest of Artesia, New Mexico. We had been striking out on solid supercell structure the first few days of our chase trip, so this gorgeous little LP storm had us jumping up and down.

Headed back to the plains Friday night…cannot wait.

Angry

Angry
(please click to view on black // canon 5d mark ii, canon 16-35mm f/2.8 l, 16mm, iso 100, f/8.0, 1/6th sec // buy print)

April 16th turned out pretty amazing across the Texas Panhandle…such a long, six-hour chase and so many views of different supercells. This was the one that produced a tornado earlier near Groom. At this point the radar velocity was intense right up ahead along this road. This was as close as I wanted to get because of the rain and the intensity of the rotation. You can see how low the clouds are in there, how angry this storm looks. The blue color in the clouds is hail.

More to come from this day!

The Alanreed Supercell

Alanreed Supercell
(please click to view on black // canon 5d mark iii, rokinon 14mm f/2.8, iso 100, f/8, 1/40th // buy print)

Storm chasing can be frustrating and fruitless. Or it can be magnificent and incredibly rewarding. On April 16th of this year, I was able to chase solid structure for almost six hours. So many time-lapses and photos. It was just one of those days that keeps you coming back for more.

This storm earlier spawned a brief tornado near Groom, Texas. It moved to the east/northeast across the rolling farmlands…I caught up to it once again here just north of Alanreed. The hail core and structure was gorgeous. After the clouds nearly passed over me, I got back south and blasted east to chase it again.

More to come!

The Panhandle

The Panhandle
(please click to view on black // canon 5d mark ii, canon 16-35mm f/2.8 l, iso 400, f/5.6, 1/250th, handheld 9-image stitch // buy print)

Last week Tuesday I jumped in my truck and drove all the way to Colorado and the plains to chase storms for two days. This was the second day in the Texas panhandle. I watched this supercell start off as simple towering cumulus and two hours later it became this beast hovering over the farmlands northwest of Pampa.

Three hours prior, I had been near this spot, talking on my live stream about how this part of Texas was so beautiful, I was praying I could capture an amazing supercell just hanging over these farmlands. And then suddenly storms fired and I didn’t move but a few miles over the course of several hours. The storm intensified and became a supercell in short order, and then evolved in so many ways. This was one of my favorite views of the entire day. Wide open, descending prairie…and even a little windmill out there. Thursday turned out more incredible than I could have hoped for when I woke up that morning, I can’t wait to share more!

 

A March supercell in Arizona

Last week I was out chasing storms and saw a bonanza of shelf clouds south of Phoenix. Later in the afternoon, I went south past Picacho Peak and watched two large cells move closer and closer together until suddenly they merged into a large thunderstorm, with a hail core and structure. It look completely like a supercell and on this time-lapse, you can see the back end of it rotating for a little bit. Early on in both clips you can also see the bluish hail core dump on the right side of the base!

I have a few other clips of the shelf clouds, but really wanted to show this guy. Awesome to see this kind of storm in Arizona…and especially in March! Great start to the year already.

Below is just a still image from this storm. So beautiful!

A March Supercell in Arizona

Approaching

Approaching
(click to view on black // canon 5d mark iii, canon 16-35mm f/2.8, 16mm, iso 100, f/5, 1/100th, handheld 7-image stitch // buy print)

Wow, yesterday was amazing…with this being the grande finale. An approaching severe thunderstorm with a leading shelf cloud edge. These use to be a rare sight in Arizona it seems like, but this monsoon has been completely insane. Beautiful structure and amazing storms. This looks like a plains-like supercell despite not really having a rotating mesocyclone.

This was south of Glendale road just west of the 101 in the west valley. I time-lapsed this beast from around this point until the blowing dust (you can see some around the base) hit me. You’ll be able to see it at the end of the year unless I get antsy to post it sooner.

West of Carlsbad, New Mexico

West of Carlsbad
(please click to view on black // canon 5d mark iii, rokinon 14mm f/2.8 // buy print)

My favorite part about storm chasing is never know what you might see at a moments notice. As we were headed into Carlsbad, we came out of under some rain and saw this cloud moving slowly across the sky.

Amazingly we had just come up to a road that went to the top of a hill for a little park area, so we drove up to the best vantage point and jumped out of the car. I had to duck under a fence. leap across a freshly flowing creek from previous rain and hail, and run uphill for about 200 feet.

My buddy Matt Granz and I stared in awe as we set up cameras. The light was simply amazing.

This scene is part of my Seven Days on the Plains timelapse film I released a few weeks ago.

Over Booker, Texas

Over Booker
(please click to view on black // canon 5d mark iii, canon 17-40mm f/4 l, iso 800, f/8.0, 1/6 // buy print)

The Booker Supercell was undoubtedly ranked either 1 or 2 in my experiences as a storm chaser. My only wish is that we had gotten there a few moments earlier, but I’m pretty sure we saw the storm at it’s best right before it started dying out. Here’s a look at the storm as it was losing strength, finally passing over the town of Booker, Texas. Earlier in the chase we had been north of Booker, watching the storm move to the southeast…and then we raced south into town and blasted east to stay ahead.

This was one of the final moments of the storm before the sun was completely down and dark overtook us.

The Boise City supercell

The Boise City Supercell
(please click to view on black // canon 5d mark ii, canon 17-40mm f/4 l, 17mm, iso 100, f/8.0, 2.5 sec // buy print)

I’ve been saving this image for awhile. It was taken during my storm chasing trip in early June of this year…and posting it kind of closes the chapter on that time. And what a time it was for me personally. Capturing that Booker supercell on timelapse and the way it was received turned that trip into one of the most important moments of my life.

And thus…sharing this photograph basically ends what I have to share from those three days. So I’ve been putting it off.

Beyond that though…I love this photo. I almost didn’t want to share it (might be hard to understand). It’s every reason I went out there. To see stuff like this. Yes, the Booker Supercell was incredible. The images of it with the orange backlight are surreal and I’m still astounded that I was there to capture that storm.

But this photo…once I started working on the black and white version of it, I fell in love with it.

Leading up to capturing this image, it felt like the day was going to be a bust. This was the day after Booker. We sat in the eastern Oklahoma Panhandle for most of the day, waiting for something to happen. But we got that target wrong. Storms to our west and northwest, in COLORADO, were going nuts and moving down into the Panhandle.

I take credit for this storm because at one point I said to Andy “F it…we’re going west until we catch those storms or they die out. Let’s go.”

And we blasted west. And we caught up to them.

We did make another mistake though, which was to sit too far to the east of this storm waiting for it to come to us. We definitely should have gotten closer and to the southeast of it right away.

But then I wouldn’t have been able to get this photo I don’t think. As it kept traveling southeast, we went southwest and met up with it right here. Driving down deserted farm roads…I told Andy I had to stop and grab this real quick.

Moments before it hadn’t looked as good as this and then suddenly…bam, this gorgeous supercell with sick structure was hanging over the road.

I couldn’t believe we were seeing one of these again, they very next day after Booker. I’d made three trips before to the plains to chase and had never caught anything remotely close to this and now we struck gold TWO DAYS IN A ROW.

Needless to say…that trip continues to live on in my memory. Not sure any future ones will ever equal it.

But you can always hope.