June 19th, 2011 - McCook, NE Supercells - Page 2
Once we dropped the western storm, I figured our day was about over. At least the roads were entertaining though lol. Here's a video grab of the lovely road we were greeted with as we bailed on the western storm.
As we caught up to the eastern storm, we saw some pretty impressive mammatus ahead. Occasionally a bolt would flicker through them, but of course, I wasn't lucky enough to catch one. Still a nice sight.
Got out to shoot, and holy heck! Gigantic stack of plates, big HP (high-precipitation) meso. Cue "Close Encounters" music. If you look closely, you can make out Kelvin Helmholtz instability waves on several tiers of the storm.
Wanted to get closer but road options were limited. Found a nice wheat field to shoot it over though.
The storm started to accelerate and try to shelf out, so we headed back south to stay ahead of it. Once we cleared it, we were shocked to see that the western storm had morphed into an incredibly well-sculpted updraft!
Nothing like seeing a supercell with clean air around it.
Less haze to shoot through now as the storm churned closer, so you could begin to see the details in the updraft. Mike Hollingshead pointed out a weird feature towards the top, where the crunchy convection appears to spell the word "CLAW." Creepy.
Figured the show was over for sure now, as the eastern storm tried to line out and plow south into this updraft. Somehow though, that didn't end up happening. The two had somehow merged, and gave us this odd scene at twilight. Really strange laminar shape to the updraft, but it would get even crazier as the night went on.
Shot a panorama to capture the giant beefy mid-level inflow deal. Thing looked like it went on forever in both directions.
Stopped to try and shoot lightning later but there was really no updraft to be seen. We must have been too close/under the inflow of the storm. We got on the road and began to head home as the cells continued to merge. However, lightning soon illuminated an incredible sight that definitely warranted stopping. Tyler wanted to keep going and get home sooner since the next day was a chase day as well, but stopping was definitely a good decision. Initially had some power lines in the way, but look at that dang updraft! Tsunami in the sky.
Got lucky with an internal lightning flash that illuminated the crunchy part of the updraft. Odd how the backside looked like the classic crunchy convection, while the front was so smoothed.
Mid-level inflow bands began to obscure our view so we tried to get ahead of them. Called Mike H and found out he had been shooting the storm not too far from us. Met up with him and chatted as this incredibly-structured beast flickered with nearly-constant lightning in the background.
Just some mean looking bolts lol. Zig-zags like I've never seen in lightning before.
You could see how that collar portion was starting to shrivel up around the updraft. Probably starting to die off at this point, but still looking ridiculous.
Coolest textures I've ever photographed in a storm. Not likely to see this show repeated... ever.
Made a stack of all 3 of the CGs we saw strike beneath the updraft that night. It was obviously more concerned about spewing out the crazy staccato bolts in the vault.
One last shot I decided to have some Photoshop fun with lol. Reflect the image and you get what pretty much looks like a nuclear bomb.
I put together a video from all the clips I shot throughout the day between still photos. Tough to balance the two, but managed a good bit of content from both! Excuse the poor editing, this was really my first time working with video lol.
Go back to Page 1 or navigate back to the main accounts page at the top.