The blue moon – the full moon on August 20 – was a magical photographic opportunity for me. I was able to shoot a lightning storm with the full moon overhead, from the beautiful vantage point of Cocoa, Florida, looking east over the Indian River Lagoon. I’ve photographed not-so-great shots of the moon with a thunderstorm before, but nothing like this. Better yet, there were multiple shots, though the one shown here is definitely my favorite.
One of the most impressive storms of my Tornado Alley chase didn’t produce a tornado, though it was tornado-warned. That’s because it was spinning like a top. The May 26, 2013, supercell near Arcadia, Nebraska, was LP, or low-precipitation – not much rain, but amazing structure. It also had one of the best lightning shows I’ve ever seen.I’ve already posted photos, but now I’ve added video to the report. Or you can watch the video above.
I’m easing back into life in Florida, where we’re getting a fair share of thunderstorms, at least for the moment. I look for lightning in the evening, and I caught some last night at Port Canaveral. Here’s a sample, but you can check out all the photos from June 18 here.
I’ve been posting chase reports in scattershot fashion. After yesterday’s squall line … not much to see … I posted a report from the May 20 Duncan, Oklahoma, tornado. It was small, and the condensation funnel didn’t extend all the way to the ground, but we had confirmation that the circulation did indeed contact the ground. After we saw it, we saw the radar from the Moore, Oklahoma, tornado and knew we had missed a large and devastating tornado. A lot of the storm chasers (and there are so many these days) were in our target area and missed it, too. Here’s the video, which you can also find on the report page with all the photos.
See all the 2013 reports – they’re growing! One of my favorites so far is from May 26 – a gorgeous, sculpted supercell in Nebraska. Here’s a photo from that day. This storm had both incredible structure and dazzling lightning. Video will come later.
On the second day of my Tornado Alley sojourn, meant to get me in position for subsequent chases, I managed to catch up with a cluster of pretty storms in northwest Kansas. They were, at one time, severe, but when I photographed them in a gorgeous twilight, they were simply prolific lightning producers. I’ll add video later, but for now, click to see some photos from Thursday.
Read the full report and see the photos here.
Meanwhile, please consider subscribing to my YouTube channel. I’ve adopted the new layout, which better organizes my videos, and you’ll be able to keep track of my storm chases when I post new ones as I travel.
So after my last assignment, I rushed north to Melbourne to catch the tail end of the storms as they went out to sea. The motion and structure were pretty, but I didn’t see any funnels – just a deceptive feature that was sort of the right shape, but not, as far as I could tell, the real thing. The feature, which appears to consist of condensing scud clouds, is pictured below (at right in photo). At least I got a lucky daytime lightning bolt. I definitely didn’t have “Funnel Vision” on Friday!
Last night, I headed out in hopes of catching some lightning in a severe storm that was approaching the east-central coast. Most of the bolts seemed buried in rain, and I was preparing myself for disappointment. I decided to give it a few more minutes in case it went into anvil-crawler mode, and I was pleasantly surprised by a handful of spectacular crawlers. See all the photos here. I recommend clicking on the thumbnails and viewing the large images as a slide show so you can see the detail in the bolts.
In the meantime, I’ve updated my 2012 chase reports and photos from Tornado Alley, but I still have a couple of videos to add. In between the obligations of reality, that is.