Storm Chasing Chasecation 2016

This entry is overdue, and I am still going through all of the footage from May 23 – May 25, but I will get there, with time. Individual chase logs will be posted at a later date(s)! Well, where do I even start? These were amazing days of chasing the plains. I was out there with my good friend Cort Scholten, who has wanted to chase with me for years, but we never could pull it off before. This year, we made it work, and headed out to the plains in search of severe storms, and tornadoes. The drive was long, and tiring, coming all the way from Michigan, but it was worth it. The first day, we targeted the Texas panhandle region. It was a dryline setup, which meant big, beefy storms that would barely move, and drop lots of rain and hail, perhaps a few tornadoes. Although we missed the tornadoes on this day, we saw some pretty amazing stuff, including some great lightning strikes, heavy rainfall, high … Read More…

Summer “Pop Up” Storms 8/10/15

8/10/15 – This was a warm and humid day, and there was some instability around. That usually leads to what’s commonly called “pop up” or “popcorn” convection. These types of pulse showers and storms can be isolated, scattered, or numerous, depending on the given conditions at the time. These were of the isolated variety. A few showers and storms had developed off to the north and northeast, and they produced outflow boundaries which touched off a few more storms as the afternoon and evening progressed. These were quite photogenic, and I ventured out on my bicycle to have a look around. I snapped lots of photos, but picked the best ones, or the most interesting ones for this article. I saw several cumulus and cumulonimbus towers, and was also treated to a beautiful sunset. In one of the sunset photo, you can see a cluster of sunspots on the lower right of the solar disk. I encountered a small Rabbit on the way to the fields, it wasn’t scared of … Read More…

Fall Colors, Sunset, and Nature Scenes

10/9/14 – Today was a day that would lead me on a cycling adventure discovering beautiful Fall Colors, and wonderful Sunset and Nature Scenes. I decided to snap lots of photos while on this adventure, so there’s lots to look at below. This is more of a photo blog article, so I’ll keep the wording short. In the collection of photos below, you will see such things as Fall colors, roadside grasses lit up by the sun, Milkweed seeds, a large Fire Ant mound, a Bald Faced Hornet nest, an interesting mushroom, some flowers, and nice sunset scenes at the golf course. All in all, it was a great (though chilly) afternoon/evening on the bike. I hope you enjoy looking through these, and as always, feel free to share this article! 🙂 ~Nature Is Beautiful~ If you would like to purchase any of these images, please feel free to get in touch with me at my facebook page, or at the contact page. … Read More…

Milkweed Seed Explosion, Moon at Sunset

9/26/14 – It was another day in a string of beautiful days in late September. Warm temperatures, plenty of sunshine, you just couldn’t ask for better weather. I decided to go for another bicycle ride. This time I went up the road a ways, and then onto the Fred Meijer Heartland Trail. The first thing I noticed was that the Milkweed seed pods were beginning to open and allow the seeds to escape. I passed by several of them in some shaded areas, didn’t stop for pictures. A little ways up he road though, it was a different story. I came upon an area to which it had looked like a Milkweed seed bomb went off. There were seeds EVERYWHERE! I had never seen so many so concentrated in one area like that before. Now, I knew it was a good idea to stop for pictures, and a bit of video as well. I’ve always loved Milkweed. The plants are an essential food source for Monarch Butterfly Caterpillars. The plants … Read More…

The Golden Hour

9/22/14 – The Golden Hour. What is this I speak of? It is a magical time of the evening, when the sun dips low in the western sky, and the light begins to look “golden”, and everything the sun is shining on, begins to look as if it has been splashed with gold. That is what “The Golden Hour” is. This is one of my most favorite times to do photography. Everything just has a certain special glow to it. Not only that, but the sun being so low in the sky also has many benefits for incorporating it into the shots. I’ve always loved The Golden Hour, even when I was a little kid, and I didn’t even think about photography. It’s always been a favorite time for me. This evening, I decided to go for a bike ride. I love cycling, and when you’re on a bicycle, you really get to take nature in for all it is. Even if that means getting a bug in the eye, … Read More…

A Beautiful Evening At Baldwin Lake

9/20/14 – Today was supposed to be a day of severe weather for most of the lower Michigan area, however, despite plenty of instability, shear, and other parameters in place, the severe weather remained to the south, and also east of west Michigan. Although initially rather disappointing, we did receive some beneficial rainfall from this system. Overall, the day went from mostly sunny, to rather gray, and wet. Once I decided that all of the storms would miss my area, I decided to head down to the lake to do some fishing in the rain. Fishing wasn’t very productive, so I started exploring nature a bit. In doing so, I found a frog, and a beautiful Monarch Butterfly! I’m thinking this Monarch was a female, based on how fat it was. The Monarch was down near the water, and was nearly falling in, so I picked it up and moved it, but not before getting some photos and video of this lovely insect. It’s been awhile since I handled a … Read More…

Heavy Rain and Urban Flooding

9/1/14 – With a chance of thunderstorms in the forecast for the day, and high precipitable water values across the area, I knew that if any storms developed, they would be putting down quite a bit of rain, and that is exactly what happened. I had been looking at computer models and other data in the days leading up to the storm day. I didn’t think there would be a lot in the severe weather department, at least not for my immediate area, so I decided to concentrate more on the wind and rain element of the storms. I figured a decaying line of convection would be moving toward lower Michigan during the morning hours, and a new line of storms would fire up ahead of that area of decaying convection. That is exactly what transpired. The storms took a little while to get their act together, but once they did, they packed a punch in many areas. Here’s a radar image of the storms as they moved through my … Read More…

Beautiful Storm At Sunset

8/2/14 – This was a day of distant pop up style storms, and a beautiful sunset. Below you will find a collection of photos, and also a time lapse video. I was out riding my bicycle, and nature put on a nice show for me. The storms never affected me directly, but just seeing them all lit up by the sunset like that was special enough for me. I really don’t have too much to say about the events in this particular article, so I will let the footage do the talking for me. After all, nature can say it a whole lot better than I can. Enjoy! … Read More…

3 Rainbows, Shelf Cloud, and a Sunset

7/15/14 – While under the influence of an unseasonably cool trough over the US, some showers and even a few thunderstorms developed within it’s cold pool. I had seen this coming for a few days prior thanks to the computer models, so I scheduled a bicycle ride for this day. I was hoping to see at least some halfway decent structure, and a rainbow. What I got was much more than that. I found all sorts of beautiful scenes, including 3 different rainbows, each one better than the last, a surprise shelf cloud, and some great nature and agricultural scenes. I began my day with a heavier rain shower, and I was able to get some video of that, and also my best action shot of rain falling ever. Later, I went cycling. My bike ride started off pretty well, saw a rain shower passing through, in the process of dying, but still created a nice scene. But it wouldn’t get really beautiful until I went further north. I found … Read More…

Severe Weather: Supercell, Hail Accumulation, Storm Damage

4/12/14 – Today was a day that had looked halfway decent on the computer models in regards to chances for storms for a few days prior to the event. As the time drew nearer, I began having some higher hopes that we’d see some pretty good storms around here. The WRF-NMM was being the most bullish, showing strong thunderstorms training across lower Michigan. As it would turn out, the WRF-NMM would come to be correct. Sometimes it’s that one, lone computer model that nails a forecast, while all of the others are out to lunch. Slowly but surely, the atmospheric parameters came together to create some great severe weather potential. The SPC had issued a 5% risk for hail and wind. 0% for tornadoes despite the somewhat favorable wind shear values which were conductive to a few rotating updrafts. One of which I was on. There are 3 sets of footage, so be sure to keep scrolling after viewing the first batch of media. Storm #1: The Supercell The first … Read More…