Double Trouble: Severe Storms in West Michigan

8/14/15: West Michigan – The computer models had been showing a chance of severe storms for a few days. The SPC put out a Marginal Risk over lower Michigan and Wisconsin. This would be a backyard chase for me right here in west Michigan. Early morning clouds cleared out, which gave way to plenty of sunshine, which contributed to daytime heating and instability which would set the stage for strong/severe storms in the afternoon. A cumulus field appeared and eventually developed into a cluster of multi-cell storms containing hail, some of it large, strong wind gusts, lightning and heavy rainfall. The first storm I intercepted was a hailstorm in the Greenville, MI area. This storm looked menacing as it moved in, and had lots of scud clouds along the leading edge of the gust front. Some of them looked suspicious, but I did not see rotation. There was some lightning with this, but not too much where I was. I let the storm overtake me, and I positioned north a … 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…


Strong Thunderstorm – Rockford, MI 6/8/15

After missing out on storms all day, I took a chance on a small rain shower with associated outflow boundary in the evening. This was part of a failed attempt that a storm made, trying to cross Lake Michigan. We were under the influence of a “lake shadow” most of the day. This also meant that our atmosphere hand’t been worked over by any convection, and there was still some instability around. I was on my way westward to pick up a boat I found on Craigslist for fishing, and on my way there, this once small shower, turned into a full fledged thunderstorm. Though this storm never became severe, it was still a strong storm, packing strong wind gusts, small hail, heavy rainfall and lightning. The structure wasn’t half bad either! A nice treat for a day when I thought I wasn’t going to see anything. This storm quickly died after sunset. I chased it south a few miles into the Rockford, MI area. It was moving pretty fast, … Read More…


Fall Color Tour 2014

12/19/14 – This article is dedicated to my best Fall Color photos from this year’s Fall Color Tour. Autumn is one of my favorite seasons, for the changing colors, for the great Bass fishing before winter, and also for the ever changing weather conditions. We could have bright sunny days with warm temperatures, stormy days (including severe weather) or even snowy days. Autumn is a transitional time of year. My favorite things of all though, are the Fall Colors. Click Here to read all about the Fall Color process. It’s fascinating. This year’s foliage display was one to remember. It was one of the best that I have ever witnessed in my whole entire life. Only 2010 and 2008 come close. The best colors lasted for weeks! Great weather for getting out to enjoy them as well. I was able to do a lot of great things with my photography of the colors this season. So here on this last day of Fall, I present to you, Fall Color Tour … Read More…


Baldwin Lake Fall Colors

10/13/14 – This was a rainy day. Mild, but rainy. I decided it would be a good day to head out and shoot some Fall colors. I brought my fishing gear along as well to see if I could catch anything while I was there. What I didn’t know was, I was about to snap one of my very best Fall colors photos of all time. Foliage has always been a strong suit for me and my photography, so it’s not unusual for me to head out and find the best photo ops I can. Today was no different. As the showers moved through on and off throughout the day, I captured a few images of their results. Raindrops on the window, raindrops on the leaves, and then suddenly the sky just took on this amazing color and texture scheme. The sun began to shine through the clouds a bit too, which illuminated the sky, trees and helped enhance the reflection off of Baldwin Lake. This was truly a once … Read More…


Potato Harvest, Bald Faced Hornets, and Early Fall Colors

9/23/14 – It was a beautiful day weather wise, so I decided to take my bicycle out for a ride around the area. At first, I found some nice flowers in the garden. As I rode down the road, I discovered a field which had been harvested. This was a potato field. Greenville, MI has a history in the potato farming industry. Area farmers grow potatoes for companies like Ore Ida, Frito Lay, Snyder’s and others. One of the most well known farms around these parts goes by the name of Sackett Potatoes. Since this was my first time ever actually witnessing a potato harvest, I decided to document some of it. The harvester dug up the potatoes, and then they travel up a conveyor belt, and into a truck to be hauled off to their destination at the factory for processing. I actually found some of the harvested potatoes on the roadside, so I picked up up and took they home to eat. They were delicious! You’ll see a … Read More…


Brilliant Sunset Time Lapse

4/10/14 – After a mostly cloudy day associated with a departing low pressure system, I noticed the edge of the cloud deck to my west creeping ever so closer. At first, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Would more clouds develop and ruin the potential for a beautiful sunset? Would the clouds even light up? Was the clearing line too far west? Lots of questions. But I timed the clouds, and positioned myself to capture what could be anyway. I’m a weather chaser, so yes, I chase weather of all types. Storms, snow, rain, clouds, and yes, even sunsets and rainbows! I love all different kinds of weather. So this sunset’s potential had me on alert. As I tracked the clouds in, the subtle colors began to show up, even before the sun had set below the deck of clouds. Right then, I knew I made a good call. Below, you can see a visible satellite animated gif of the clouds, and to the right of that, my position (red … Read More…


Beautiful Sunset 8/8/13

August 8, 2013 – I was treated to some nice cloudscapes, including an absolutely beautiful sunset. I decided to take the opportunity to capture things in a different light than usual. I was out riding my bike, and knew from looking at the approaching high clouds that the sunset would be quite a nice show. I rode up to one of my favorite spots in the country to capture what was to come. Slowly but surely the colors began to appear, and they became brighter, and deeper. I decided to go for many shots, including some new things like using my bicycle as a prop. I captured a photo I call “Cycling Dreams” and it has really taken off over on my facebook page. This photo is one of my favorites, because of all the emotions that come with it for many different people, from all walks of life. Cycling is a way to get back with nature, it is a way to stay in shape, to commute, to recreate, … Read More…