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Thursday, June 04, 2009

Lightning Photos + More Roll/Crawford Oklahoma Tornado Photos

I was half asleep in bed at midnight on the 31st when I saw lightning flashes along the apartment next door. Checked radar and noticed some storms firing along a retreating cold front (?) or a moisture axis (?), or perhaps it was the WAA regime along a stalled front (but was sure it settled much further south of Lawrence) . I briefly checked SPC's mesoanalysis and saw that Lawrence was right on the northern end of 2000 j/kg of MUCAPE and a dewpoint difference of about 10-12 degrees along this boundary.

I zipped to the Clinton dam where Darin, Lexi and I sat in lawn chairs shooting photos for almost an hour and a half. The one and only close CG we saw is below and was shot at 10 mm. The first updraft had some decent structure as you can see (but was better after). If you look closely on the reflection of the water just to the left of the strike, there are 4 fisherman on the shore there. The half moon just happened to be under the updraft base and luckily was rain-free. Shot at my usual, lazy 30 sec exposure, ISO 200 and f/4. Darin, 9 times out of 10, is usually the one who pulls the sweet lightning shots, but my 2009 luck was with me again. There really wasn't much lightning at all for the last 30 minutes we were there as the storms weakened, but of course pulsed back up after we had left.

Clinton Dam Lightning + Moon

I'm just as lazy at processing photos as I am blog entries, so here are a few more shots from April 26th in Roger Mills county, Oklahoma.

First funnel we could see that lasted only about 20 seconds, no ground circulation was visible from our vantage point. Taken at 20 mm or so. I should just ditch my Sigma 17-70 any more as this UWA is starting quarterback every chase now and there hasn't been much need for the 17-70.

Roll, Oklahoma Funnel

Then about 30 seconds after the first tornado formed:

Roll, Oklahoma Tornado #1

Then a not-so-great shot out of the window for the second (or third depending on who you ask) tornado. I had to bump both cams up to 800 ISO again, which can be a noisemaker. If I had a full frame camera, like many other chasers possess, I could step up the quality to another level. So if anyone reading this would like to purchase me the Canon 5d Mark II, I'd probably let you!

Roll Oklahoma Tornado #2

Now it's time to blow off a little steam by ranting on a Douglas county resident in which I was blessed to have crossed paths with .

Old man in Lawrence last week. I passed a new, silver Mercedes Benz SUV last week casually, on cruise control @ 79 mph about 2 miles east of Lawrence. I noticed he had a bumper sticker on it which read, "Arrogance: When Yes We Can turned into I won." So immediately I think this guy and I probably wouldn't be best friends forever. So I think, is he a successful small business owner who hires illegal aliens for cheap labor yielding huge profits, yet votes against illegal immigration? Or, is he some corporate executive who recently laid off 20 of his employees to make sure he still had enough cash in accounts payable to help continue to feed his addiction for his high-class call girls, or, the pointless, monthly business meetings which are centered at the top tourist attractions across the globe? Who knows.

I've now slowed down to 60 mph as I'm entering east Lawrence off of K-10 and notice Dick Cheney's #1 fan riding immediately behind me and is on my ass, not the 10-15 foot stuff, the 2-3 foot stuff. This makes for braking safely, for the posted 45 mph, nearly impossible now. I gently push my brakes, which instantly throws him into a rage, as he swerves over into the right lane to pass, then subsequently cuts me off purposely to get in front of me. He's now breaking the law at 20 mph over. Road rage is very contagious at this point, so I punch it, showing him the more skilled way, of riding someone's at 65 mph in a 45 (Yep, I'm breaking the law now too).

Five years ago, without hesitation, this guy's new Mercedes SUV would have had a custom-made, size 13 shoe souvenir engraved into the driver's side door. But, I elected to even things differently, watching him panic then trying to lose me for a good mile. He finally ducked into a gas station at the last second and I continued on. So if you're reading this, piss up a rope buddy!

We're off to Colorado tomorrow, not thrilled again for this weekend's setup, but it beats any pattern we've been in, in the last month. Probably be a week or two of cap busts from Mother Nature for her grand finale of a not-so chaser friendly year. When summer rolls around I hope to have more time processing photos.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great lightning pics! I also like that last tornado pic - very interesting way it developed.

As for the jerk in the car, please do not assume that just because someone didn't vote for Obama that they are "a successful small business owner who hires illegal aliens for cheap labor yielding huge profits, yet votes against illegal immigration" or "some corporate executive who recently laid off 20 of his employees to make sure he still had enough cash in accounts payable to help continue to feed his addiction for his high-class call girls, or, the pointless, monthly business meetings which are centered at the top tourist attractions across the globe"

I will agree that that guy is a total ass, but what you characterize him as just because of his bumper sticker makes you seem just as bad, if not more so. Not all republicans are jerks, just like not all democrats are great people.

And as for call-girls, which party was good 'ol Elliot Spitzer of New York from?

Keep up the good photos!

Emma and Mommy said...

My hubby who usually laughs at my exictiment for weather, loves lighting and I showed him your pic after seeing it posted on tornadovideos.net (I just found your blog today!) and he is in love with it. You wowed him an that is hard to do. Great job awesome work. I think you are by far the best storm photographer I have ever come across.

Lori (Aka MommaOkie/facebook Lori Richards)

Dann Cianca said...

That lightning photo has me convect, just so you know.

Also, regarding April 26th, I've seen pictures of two tornadoes at once, yet I saw the first tornado (from what I understand) in its entirety and then the big one later. Is it possible there was one in between? I was driving back toward Roll and then north toward the bridge and lost sight of the wall for a while.

DC

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