Tuesday, June 21, 2011

06/20/11 Squall

The dry line lazily rolled closer to Wichita with a whimper of threat.  Storms were firing in Salina, but down here, wind.  Nothing seemed to be happening so I went a little north to watch the storms. 

 To the south, a single cumulus tower began to rise and soon all hell broke loose.  Before the storm even seemed to mature the National Weather Service issued a Severe Thunderstorm Warning for the area.

Clouds began stacking up on the dryline and  we had a squall line.

Hail, high wind, and lots of rain.

The line took over an hour to move thorough town.  There was wind related damage (trees, a couple roofs, and power lines), but no significant hail.


Afterwards mammatus clouds were very visible on the tail end of the front showing lots of turbulence up above.  The temp dropped about 25 degrees and we finally lost the blast furnace wind that hit most of the day.

Inspirational moment of the Day

Do something tomorrow that will change next week.
Do something next week that will change next month.
Do something next month that will change your life forever.

Saturday, June 18, 2011


Forgot to mention the moonrise tonight.  With all our attention focused to the north, I caught a glimpse of something on the horizon.

I may try to make these into one print.

06/17/11 video

I have not sped up the film.  This is as quick as the lightning happened.

June 16th 2011 storm

I always know something's afoot when a friend texts me and asks what's going on in a certain area.
McPherson - 80mph winds, large hail, maybe rotation.  Too good to pass up.  Left the house and headed about two miles to the north and then a quick jog east.  The lightning was incredible, this storm looked very much alive and somewhat angry.

The lightning crawled all over this storm.  Constantly with the fine little bolts.
I thought about heading up to Newton to see this storm, but the way the lightning spread out from this, I didn't want to get any closer and take photos.

The storm moved slow and I did notice the anvil making progress to the south.  Before long Sedgwick Co. was under a thunderstorm warning.

I love photographing lightning with digital camera.  I know it's a functional Darwinism exercise.

Also people would drive up to the intersection and watch us for a long time.  If you do that and notice they have a camera . . . please turn off your brights (at least).

I know I look like a sasquatch with a tripod in a lightning storm.

The fronts stalled out near the city so tomorrows clash could mean more chasing.

Friday, June 10, 2011

06/09/11 chase now with video

Video shot during wall cloud observation.

06/09/11 chase Part II The Real Deal

I ran home.

Wall cloud heading to the house, circulation tightening, rain starting to come down and not allow me to see what's happening clearly.

I made it, everyone was hanging out in the basement.

I ran outside to lash myself to the deck like Lt. Dan screaming at the hurricane.

The storm passed through Kechi quickly running into Bel Aire.  I know I saw a very brief funnel, but it did not touch down and dissipated after trying to form.

Kechi was hit by heavy rains, light hail (pea to dime sized), and 50-60 mph wind.  Luckily, in the city we had minimal damage.

I waited for the main storm to pass, but a cell near Goddard (west of Wichita) strengthened up while this one started east again.  There was some very chaotic movement in the storm and I believe it was due to the storms feeding off one another.

I waited for about thirty minutes for the deluge to stop.  Wichita was experiencing some flooding.  I grabbed the cameras and headed back out.  The sunset was awesome showing some mammatus clouds, the pic below didn't do it justice.

I shot some lightning in the field but the occasional rain and horizontal lightning bursts overhead made me decide to head back home.  I shot lightning out of the garage until the memory card was full.  I did a time lapse video of the lightning last night.  All in all, exciting evening, no tornado injuries or fatalities in the city of Wichita, and an amazing light show afterwards.

06/09/11 chase Part II ish


Dear people of the Midwest.  Recent storms have cause horrible damage and loss of life.  When lightning is overhead, sirens are roaring, seek cover.

This guy . . .

Let's just say, don't be this guy.  We don't need functional Darwinism.  This is the second time I've been monitoring severe weather outbreaks, and was passed by someone riding a bike.

Thank you.

06/09/11 chase

Although there was a thunderstorm watch for the area, this storm surprised me with it's fierceness.  I watched the small blob grow on radar screen and decided to go take a look before I had a get together later in the evening.  I have a  great vantage point to watch storms about two miles from my house.  It's a local farm field that the hedge rows were removed and I can see way out west.

When I arrived, I noticed a definite lowering of the clouds.

The wall cloud was forming and feeding off of the huge amount of moisture to the north of it and building although rotating very slowly.

There was some radio chatter about a rear flank downdraft opening up but I never saw it.  Quickly the wall cloud slimmed down and continued feeding on warm moisture.

I was in a good position with inflow directly overhead.  It kept the rain from cloaking the area.  The cloud slowly rotated and radar finally indicated a cause for a tornado warning.  If there was a rear flank downdraft, I think it choked out the tornadogenesis as the wall cloud became smaller.  As it became smaller it began to rotate.

It was rumored that the storm was moving SE instead of straight E.  Unfortunately, that's where my house is.

Part II coming soon.

Heat Bursts Data


Thursday, June 9, 2011

06/09/11 chase

Still working on photos.  Might even post a movie.  Stay tuned.

Heat Bursts and other strange things I've never heard of

In the early morning hours of June 8th, 2011, the temperature rose from 85 degrees to 102 in 20 minutes.  This spawned a 50 mph wind through the city around 12:22 AM.

The meteorological explanation was that rain falling cools the air beneath it.  The colder air falls quickly and as it falls it's warmed and compressed quickly.

The pictures are from a co-workers house on the west side of Wichita.  Neighbors shed was picked up by the wind and thrown at her house.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The sky was on fire

Huge fires down in New Mexico/Arizona are adding to the hazy hot skyline.  Took these pictures through a glass with antireflective tint and also used a UV filter.

Did a little computer post editing, but thought it came out ok.