Strong Grungy Storms 9/3/15

9/3/15 – This was an interesting day. Elevated storms came through in the early morning associated with a wave of low pressure. The amount of debris clouds leftover from the morning convection limited the severe potential for later in the afternoon. SPC had a general thunderstorm risk across the region. A few storms did go severe warned though, and a few others reached strong criteria. I got into some of the grungy stronger storms which offered up some interesting structure. The clouds were not of supercellular nature, but they exhibited a lot of similar features given the ample moisture, some CAPE, and shear to sustain them. I meandered around Stanton, MI mostly, and stayed in Montcalm County to document what I could of the storms. They weren’t extremely impressive, so I didn’t want to travel very far. Below is a video of the storms, and also a collection of photos, some of which look quite ominous. One of the images is a wedge tornado lookalike. No confirmation of any damage, … Read More…

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…

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…

Time Lapse: Rain Showers and Sunset

4/11/14 – Today was a day with some potential for something photogenic to take place. Low potential, but some potential nonetheless. With a couple of computer models predicting some light showers developing going into the late afternoon and evening, I had my plans set to go document the weather. I figured I’d at least get a good sunset. I decided to make this a cycling adventure, as well as a weather documentation event. Once I was on the road, I knew it was shaping up to be a good evening. There was a patch of cumulus growing to my west. The sun angle was very nice shining through those. As I arrived to my filming spot, I was also surprised with how nice the rain showers were looking. They developed in relatively short order. I was treated to a very nice display of rain showers, clouds, and a sunset. As an added bonus, I found a large puddle in the field to use as a reflection for some of my … 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…

A Weather Time Lapse Day

4/8/14 – Today was a great day for weather time lapse! The conditions were nearly perfect for some light showers to develop. There was some instability present, albeit weak. SBCAPE was on the order of 100j/kg, and the Low Level Lapse Rates were impressive, up into the 8.5 range as I was shooting these showers. Below is a PYKL3 radar screenshot from my cell phone. (my general location is shown on the screenshot, I was actually a bit east of there) I’ve also included some mesoanalysis images. Left to right, SBCAPE, SB Lifted Index, MSLP, Low Level Lapse Rates, and PWAT. Click images for larger view. They did have a hard time overcoming the drier air at the surface, so much of the precipitation was in the form of Virga. But that made for even better time lapse footage. Also, as you can see in the first photo in this article, the persistent snow pile along the side of the road. It was, at one point, nearly 6 feet tall. … Read More…

Photogenic Showers + Time Lapse!

On October 19, 2013 I awoke to a patch of cumulus outside my window that looked somewhat photogenic. I drove to one of my favorite spots to better photograph them. Little did I know that I would be there for 2-4 hours snapping photos and recording videos for time lapse. Once the photogenic showers began, they just didn’t stop. One after the other, photo opportunities all around. Not only did I get to see rain showers, but I was also treated to a weak ragged shelf cloud along an outflow boundary. I was also treated to a large flock of Geese, and also several small flocks of Cranes. I did get photos of them, and videos too (videos of the Geese and Cranes will be posted at a later time. Look for them at THIS LINK). All in all it was a great day. The sunshine definitely played a role, more that just the destabilization, but also accented the scenes well. Below is a time lapse video of the rain … Read More…

Another Beautiful Sunset (Time Lapse Video + Photos)

Back to back gorgeous sunsets on 8/8/13 and 8/9/13. What more could a photographer ask for? I was out riding my bike at the time. I didn’t have my tripod with me, so for the video I just steadied my camera on my bicycle’s seat cushion. The angle was actually pretty good at accenting the sunset, so I’m not disappointed. Photos and videos are below. I captured some pretty cloud scenes before the sunset as well. It was definitely great to experience. Feel free to share this article around! … 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…