Storm Chasing Day 6

Day 6

We got up in the morning and met for the usual time...10am! We did our Miller analysis and it did not look all that promising as there was a high cap that would have had to have been overcome in order to generate any super cells! We all determined that the North East of CO would be the ideal place to go if the cap could be overcome.

So off we went and at 11am it was already 27 degrees celcius...we knew it would be a warm one! By mid afternoon it was 35 or 36 degrees! So when we did stop to wait for the storms to roll in, we took shade whereever possible...sometimes it was in the vans! It was a hot dry day...which was not good for our storm good, but dry was bad!

We made it through to Fort Morgan Co,had lunch and waited out the cap issues. We started heading to Chadron for our final evening, but had noticed one storm that had started to form was actually breaking through the cap and starting for form a small super cell! At this time the sun was starting to set, so it made a very beautiful setting for our last day!

We arrived in Chadron around 1:30 am and have to get up for 6! Yikes it is going to be a long day! We are still not sure about what is happening with the travel...I think we are driving home, dropping off those that need to go home, then if the storm that was predicted for ND comes true for Thursday we will be hitting the road again!

Here are a few from the day!

1 Some local ants chowing on a cranberry John gave them.

2 Chillin in the shade while waiting for the storms








Storm Chasing Day 5

Day 5

Well not a lot to say for Day 5...except one VERY exciting bit of info...discussed below! We had a down day to reposition ourselves for Tuesday!

We travelled from our pit stop in Beatrice, Nebraska and travelled to the West to Sidney Nebraska! Not a lot to say...we took it easy played some football did a little shopping and had an early night!

The one exciting thing that happened yesterday was seeing the TIV2 outside our hotel when we go up and going for the day! Everyone posed, modelled and jumped from it! We even did our group shot in front of it! It was awesome, they even left it open so everyone could get a good look inside! Very neat to see!

Here are the really the only pics from the day! Not sure exactly where we are off to today, but it looks like we are heading to Colorado. I dont think we will be back in time for work on Thursday! Uh Oh!

 1 Me with the TIV2



Storm Chasing Day 4

Day 4

Wow, what an exciting day! 2 Tornado warning in different areas...well technically there were 2 separate warnings in the 2 different areas! Lots of rotation in the upper levels of the atmosphere and some at the lower levels as well! The instructors kept us VERY safe the whole time, in fact most of my pics yesterday of the wall clouds were from inside the vehicle as we were getting out of dodge in order to avoid the 3 inch hail that was coming our way.

OK, lets start from the beginning! 

The storms started early Sunday morning with a thunderstorm early on including hail! We watched from the hotel room as we were getting ready for the day! We were given the miller analysis assignments as we hopped into the vans and set off from Chardon,Nebraska. We all noticed that the maps were looking very odd...which was for good reason! Things were very unstabe and tempuratures and dew points were off the charts in some areas which added to the boiling that was going to happen during the day!

We headed south east and were watching the radar very carefully. It wasnt long before there was a severe thunderstorm warning. So the chase was on! we drove by and saw the AMAZING wall cloud that had formed! What a sight to see! As mentioned before, we kept out of it in order to stay out of the crazy hail that was being produced out of these storms! I feel bad for the cows and horses that get hit by these storms...although some know to take shelter and do so or huddle in groups! It is quite a sight to watch them gather!

Our next big adventure of the day was near Seward, Nebraska and on into Beatrice (where we spent the night). Driving through Seward the Tornado sirens were blaring and on the radar it was clearly a hook shaped super cell! There was low cloud cover so we could not see it that well, but was amazing to be in the situation! Apparently there was high and low level rotation and it was getting too dark to keep following and decided to hunker down in the town for the night! We found an awesome hotel for the night (Holiday Inn Express) for the cheapest yet!  Nicest BY FAR!!!  When we checked into the hotel the tornado sirens were going off here as well and apparently a funnel had been spotted just North of the city...too bad it was not daylight!!! We went out in the evening again for a lightning hunt and found some not too far from Beatrice! 2 am sleep I dont think I have ever gotten this little sleep but still felt so alive!!!

Day 5 should be a quiet one, but you never know!!!

1 The first wall cloud we spotted today






Storm Chasing Day 3


Day 3 started off late, no big rush as we were sticking around the area. We got ready then met at the Hot Springs Dollar Inn hotel , then made our way to the Super 8 where we met the rest of the crew (could not get 7 rooms).  We talked about what we saw the day before and then proceeded to do the analysis for the day!
We all decided that anywhere between Rapid City SD down to Valentine NE was a good place to be to catch a good storm, however it was not expected to hit till about 3pm in the afternoon.We had left early due to a parade going on in the street for the bikers that were in town and the state miss America pagent that was going on. Almost every vendor in town had a bunch of portraits of candidates for certain pagents in their windows! I didn’t realize that it was such a big deal here in the states!
We started out and made out way to Hermosa and watch some cells forming. However due to a strong cap the storms quickly fizzled out! This was not something that was expected!
We headed further south into Shannon County (too cool) lol, in the hopes of catching something and came across a nice formation (bow line) with a nice shelf cloud on it.
We made it into Pipeline(scary place as there were parents putting their 3 year old into the back of a pickup truck with their 6 year old sister and driving off!!!), Wounded knee and Porcupine SD before heading into NE to bunk down for the night. We had some amazing lighting shows on the way there and even stopped on the side of the road for some shots!
We made it to the hotel around 10:30, settled in, went for dinner (another McDonalds meal...blech) and then a few of us headed West 15 mins to take some pics of lightning! Got an awesome show and everyone was scared as the lightning was literally all around us and even over us! We stayed in the van somewhat in order to avoid getting hit!
What a thrill this trip has been so far! Can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings!









Storm Chasing day 2

Day 2 – Storm Chasing Adventure

Was another long haul (2500 kms over 2 days), but should be the last one for a while. A very active trip so far!
We hit 4 different states yesterday from Montana to Wyoming to Nebraska to South Dakota! The scenery is just beautiful out here! I guess anything is a nice change what you see every day, but to see the hills and mountains it really is majestic...especially when there is a HUGE looming thunderstorm over head!
So all in all yesterday produced a nice Supercell over Casper Wyoming, which keep growing and moving to far for us to catch, but grew to over 61000 ft in the atmosphere!  The Mammatus on this one was amazing, I have never seen such well defined and long lasting (1.5 hours) Mammatus before.
We also hit a left mover carrying a boat load of hail. We actually ended up going through some of the hail which had sizes from pea and dime size hail to some over the size of a loonie!
We moved onto Rapid City where we caught a classic supercell and was able to make out all the details of the storm and was able to point out specific terms that we had learnt in class...beaver tail, downdraft flank, inflow, rain core...etc. This one even showed a definite hook on the radar, so we were hoping for a tornado, but it quickly burned out!
Today we are hoping for some more....we still need to do the analysis, but I think we are sticking around the black hills today!

A few from the day:








Storm Chasing Day 1

Well, Day one of my Storm Chasing Adventure is coming to a close. It is now 12:30am here in Billings,MT!

We started the day at 6am meeting at the UofM parking lot and then prepping the vans for travel! We got on the road around 7am and barely stopped along the today consisted of a sandwich (ham and case you were wondering! lol), a mini pizza, chips, cashews and a bunch of water! 

The van consists of myself, 4 other students and one of the instructors...we are the ThreatNet!

We had one small delay in Minot due to the flooding...and BOY ARE THEY FLOODING!!!! Feel bad for them! Hope it does not get worse. Was about a 45 min delay in a traffic backup as they were working on getting sandbags and such set up on the side of the road.

One of our other stops included Malta...this causes another minor delay as one of the vans were filled with a third of a tank of diesel. They managed to get a hose and a barrel to dump it into, but in the end it did not work and they filled the rest of the tank with regular gas.

 Just south of Malta is where we caught the shelf cloud! It was one of several storm cells on the radar! Was a blast to see it coming in so fast and powerful! When it hit we had winds of 75km per hour at us. Then the rain hit as well. Amazing lightning went along with it, only managed to get a couple, but was promised this was only the beginning!  I will be working on a timelapse of that shelf cloud and am hoping to post in the next couple of days!The excitement is still building and cannot wait to see what tomorrow has in store! Maybe SD or NE, we shall see!

Here are a few from the day!

 1 Some of the flooding in Minot. So many homes under water! So sad!

2 Shelf cloud

3 The shelf cloud moving in

4 Section of the Shelf cloud!

5 Lightning from the van window

6 Gorgeous, gorgeous scenary!! Rolling hills, gulleys and more...simply beautiful



Aurora at Lester Beach

Wow, what a great night! Headed out to Lester Beach Manitoba last night with my sister in law and another new photographer! Was a beautiful night, 10 degrees, nice breeze, peaceful area, no clouds and even better...NO BUGS!!!!

Mother nature was in full bloom last night with her Northern Lights! Mostly green hues, but every now and then when in her dancing glory there were hints of pink! They came out around 11 and lasted strong for about an hour or so. They got stronger again around 12:50 for about another hour, when we left at 2 they were still going. Amazing what a solar flare can do! Science is amazing!

It is nights like these that make you reflect in the beauty of it all! Made me miss the north and the beauty we had around us every day! In the next couple of years I need to make my way up there again and take it all in!

Here is a video that I made from 42 images in a 20 minute time frame from my secondary camera.


 Here are a few pics from the night!






Baby Jordynn

What a great day yesterday, I had the absolute pleasure of photographing Baby Jordynn! At only 9 days old, she is such a beautiful little girl! She was very cooperative and a trooper with all the posing and clothing changes!

Huge thanks and congrats to Amanda and Jared!

I was also excited to be able to use my new-old scale, she was barely small enough to fit on it! lol Love the results though!

I am still processing the rest of them, but here are a few from the day!

1)  Introducing Jordynn, Winnipegs youngest Hocky Fan!

2) Sleeping Beauty!

3) A Movie Star in the making!

4) Safe and Happy in Daddys Hands

5) Love the scale, model and results!



6) Congrats on such a beautiful family!