Storm Chase 2017

 

This year I am flying out to Dallas on Saturday 27th May returning to Blighty 13/14th June. I will be chasing with the Netweather team on their Tour from 31st May to 11 June.

So I have a few days before and after the tours when I plan to potter basically. Any nearby (within 700 miles) storms will be chased else I will mostly be pootling looking for Texan wildlife and trying not to get shot.

 

Day 1 (28th May)

On Sunday I visited the home of Gilbert and Melanie Morrow who live in Azle, TX. They live in a house that Gilbert built himself on family land that has been farmed in the past.

Here are a few pictures of the birds that frequent the house and are obviously a joy for the family.

 

Day 2 (29th May)

Drove south of Dallas/Fort Worth past Austin and stayed the night in Waco. There aren’t any storms to chase so just pottering about driving.

Day 3 (30th May)

On the advice of Tom Lynch I visited Wonder Cave in Waco in the morning. Was rather nice to be in the relative cool of the cave.

 

Day 4 (31st May)

Dropped my hire car at Dallas (I used Alamo) and was picked up by Tom Lynch.

The full team is as follows:-

Netweather Driving: Paul Michaelwaite (Owner of Netweather), Tom Lynch and Nicholas Lee. Forecaster/Chaser: Paul Sherman (Botten).

Tour guests: Stevie Grant, Jamie Croucher, David Ostrowski, Chris Webster, Tom Redford,  Jeremy Silver, Marco, Stephen Barnett

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Day 5 (1st June)

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Day 6 (2nd June)

We weren’t chasing today. Just positioning for the very low risk later on. Drove through Lubbock, TX where Buddy Holly was born. Ended up in Lamar, CO.

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Day 7 (3rd June)

Another non chase day. Drove past Denver, got our first views of the majestic snow capped Rockies. We drove up into the Rockies to Berthoud Pass. Spent the night in Cheyenne, WY.

 

Day 8 (4th June)

Started in Cheyenne, WY and ended up in Limon, CO via Garden of the Gods, CO which is a simply stunning place with jagged rocks and in the shadow of the Rockies.

We ended the day taking star photos in the hope of capturing the Milky Way but the moon was so bright it was impossible.

 

I do have to share one of the unsatisfactory star shots:-

Stars

Day 9 (5th June)

Started off in Limon, CO and ended up in Tucumcari, NM. This was a chase day and we managed to experience some excellent CG lightning. I used my lightning trigger and managed to get some pretty good shots.

 

Here are the lightning pictures which I am really pleased with:-

Lightning

The GIF below is five sequential shots taken by my trigger (Not the same image cycled). So I actually captured 3 of the up and down strokes which, as you see, followed the exact same path!

Lightning

Lightning_1Lightning_2Lightning_3Lightning_4Lightning_5Lightning-Big

Here they are stacked

Stacked Lightning copy

Day 10 (6th June)

Limon, CO to SE CO (Lamar) via Hugo, Eads, Springfield and Campo; Boise City, OK; overnight in Tucumcari, NM

 

Day 11 (7th June)

North from Tucumcari, NM via Mosquero, NM. Roy, NM. Storm in Puebleo, CO. Overnight in Burlington, CO. The storm we intercepted West of Burlington became tornado warned and dropped at least one tornado but we started too far back. As we were positioning a cracking rainbow formed and we got out of the car to take pictures. This is when we became aware of the hail roar. I have uploaded a video where you can make out the hail roar over the wind (filter out the wind noise on the mic).

 

Video of he rainbow and hail roar:-

Day 12 (8th June)

Burlington, CO to Cheynne Wells, CO. Towner, CO. Tribune, KS. Syracuse, KS. Rolla, KS. Guymon, OK, storms south of Guymon, OK; LP supercell North of Stinnett, TX; 2nd LP in Amarillo, TX.

Chased all the way to Amarillo and were rewarded with a lovely LP Supercell but we chased the HP/Classic which didn’t disappoint with shotgun lightning to round off the day.

 

The lightning was so numerous that at the end of the chase I took 150 pictures of 5 seconds exposure time. There was a visible bolt of lightning on ALL but 1 frame! Firstly I present some large stills and then I made a GIF of the whole thing to give you a flavour of the frequency of lightning.

Lightning_1Lightning_2Lightning_3Lightning_4LightningSelfie

 

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Day 13 (9th June)

8 June was our last chase day. On Friday night we went to a club in Oklahoma City called Cowboys. Line dancing with lots of cowgirls, cowboys and dancing. There was a mechanical bull AND a real bull where people competed to stay on the longest.

 

I moved my flight back to Sunday and flew home.

No tornado. But that doesn’t bother me as a great time was had.

 

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