Saturday, August 27, 2016

05/22/16 LP Nebraska Supercell

An amazing photogenic (LP) supercell spins over the Sandhills of Nebraska near Ringgold, NE

On May 22nd, I decided to travel to western Nebraska as it appeared this would be a good chase day that held some good potential for tornadoes and especially supercells along the dry line. I spent most of the day on I-80 heading west toward North Platte, NE where I stopped to re-analyze where I would like to target for severe convection on this day. This area along the dry line featured 4,000K/kg of CAPE, 0-6km shear at 35kts, the supercell composite at 20, the significant tornado parameter at 3, and a moist boundary-layer with dew points at 65°F. After being patient for most of the afternoon waiting for storms to initiate in this area storms began to initiate south of some on-going severe convection near Valentine, NE.  I ended up traveling north of North Platte, NE on U.S. 83 as a severe thunderstorm developed just northeast of North Platte, NE moving toward Stapleton, NE. This storm tried to get organized and had a nice updraft on it, but seemed to struggle with a cap (warm-layer aloft) still in place and after chasing this storm for about a half hour it met its demise. I then decided to head northwest where some new convection was beginning to form near Ringgold, NE. I was quite pleased with my decision as these updrafts quickly began to rotate. This storms quickly became supercellular and were low-precip as well. This provided me with some spectacular photography and storm structure that the other storm didn't provide much of. This low-precipitation (LP) supercell had an awesome updraft and was awesome to watch! I shot several pictures along NE Rt. 92 as this developing supercell moved northeast. This supercell would also meet its demise as well fairly quickly unfortunately. Near sunset I called it a chase and spent the night at a Best Western in North Platte, NE. I've added several shots of the (LP) supercell I chased below:

One heck of an updraft to my west!
The atmosphere was quite unstable along the dry line!
I found a nice open spot to spend some time photographing this picturesque rotating updraft!
You gotta love the western High Plains!
A beautiful supercell!
Wall cloud under the base of the spinning updraft...
"A supercell's tilted updraft"
Great contrast and storm structure this storm featured for a brief time!
The first storm I chased is now meeting its demise near sunset which was really interesting to observe the dissipating "barber pole" rotating updraft here...

Overall, this was a decent chase day! I may have missed out on the tornadoes especially in Kansas near Scott City, KS, but I made the best of it with some really great storm structure in Nebraska. I ended up traveling back to Illinois the next day on May 23rd. On the drive back home to Illinois I caught a few storms in Iowa along the way that I'll add those photos to an upcoming post as well.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

05/08/16 KS/OK Border Supercell

 A supercell weakens at sunset providing a picturesque western sky near Manchester, OK

On May 8th, I traveled to Oklahoma in hopes of catching some nice supercells and tornadoes on this chase day. It appeared for a day or two prior that this day would hold some good potential across the Southern Plains for severe weather. After spending much of the night on the road I headed toward a target near Dodge City, KS. It appeared the best tornado potential would be found along the KS/OK border during the evening. The area I was targeting featured by mid-afternoon 2,000J/kg of CAPE, 0-6km shear at 60kts, the supercell composite near 8, and dew points near 65°F. By morning, I was already in central Kansas along I-70 heading southwest toward my target as elevated convection festered for much of the morning and early afternoon. This complicated the forecast for afternoon convection to say the least. By early afternoon, I arrived in Medicine Lodge, KS as the atmosphere began to become increasing unstable. A shortwave trough was moving toward this area and for most of the afternoon it was a waiting game for convection to initiate. By late afternoon, convection began to initiate along the dry line to my southwest. I decide to target a tail-end charlie storm along the arch of convection that developed. This storm struggled initially to get organized, but eventually it did and had a nice wall cloud and decent rotation at times, but never produced a tornado unfortunately. I chased this storm along the KS/OK border throughout the evening stopping to take a few shots every so often. Unfortunately, this storm just didn't have the storm structure I was hoping for so I settled for some shots at sunset as this storm weakened considerably as it progressed northeast into more stable air. This was quite disappointing as this day held very high hopes for myself, but it didn't pan out in this area. I then booked a room at a Best Western in Wichita, KS and called it a night after a frustrating chase day. I've added only a couple worthy photos in this post below:

Supercell thunderstorm struggling to stay organized...
This storm meets its demise at sunset!

Overall, this was a tough chase day that I was quite optimistic about, but it just didn't pan out like I would have hoped. I would later storm chase once again on May 22nd in western Nebraska and I'll update with that post in the coming days.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

05/01/16 Spring: 2016

Vivid colors as spring begins earlier this year in Peoria, IL

This past spring, I once again spent a lot of time visiting some local greenhouses to capture Mother Nature's spring colors in Peoria, IL. I was quite happy with my assortment of photos I shot this spring just like in years past as well. I've added several photos I shot from this spring below:

Spring really provides a great assortment of colors!
A photogenic close-up!
Tulips, one of the sure signs it's spring!
Amazing purple colors here!
I really like the composition in this shot...
Feeling blue?
These annuals are always quite photogenic flowers!
 Sometimes a little moisture outside can create some great photo-ops!
Blue, my favorite color!
 A really sharp shot...
 A typical hibiscus
 Love the color here!
 One of my favorites from this spring!
 More colorful tulips!
 A really neat close-up!
Some vibrant red/pink color!
 More great color!
"Spring green"
I love this flowering plants as I usually get some neat shots out of them...
More photogenic annuals!
Daffodils, another sure sign of spring!
A photogenic red tulip!
 I could not get enough of these shots!
 Gotta love what a macro-lens can do...
 Another spectacular photo...
 An odd shaped flower providing a unique photo!
 When you see these trees flowering...spring has arrived!
More blue!
 More neat colors!
 More raindrops!
The detail a macro-lens can provide is amazing...
A nice variety of color...
 A photogenic daffodil...
More amazing color!
Another close-up!
A big fan of the composition of this shot!
A whole heck of a lot of orange here...
A cool shot!
More daffodils!
Hot pink!
More great detail...
 Striking blue color!
Mother Nature's amazing work!
A neat shot!
One more of the many shots of this plant!
One more illustrating the spring colors...

That will end my spring: 2016 collection for this year. I once again was quite happy with many of my shots from this past spring. I ended up storm chasing on May 8th and I'll be adding that post in the coming days.