Monday, April 11, 2011

Sameday Lameday

Well, another chase op, and another botch by Mr. Pritchard. Obviously should have been in northern Iowa on Saturday evening but commitments back home in Champaign prevented me from even considering it. I saw some incredible looking hodographs prior to the event but didn't torture myself by watching the entire thing unfold. It wasn't until I was heading back to DeKalb around midnight on Saturday night that I heard what all had happened (and was STILL happening).

Sunday... it just wasn't there. Once I saw the 0z model suite once I arrived back in DeKalb around 2 AM my storm chasing heart sank. Waking up in the morning, it was more of the same. I never even got into chase mode... it was either far into northern Wisconsin or nothing. I should have just gone to the family cottage up there because according to preliminary reports a tornado passed 10-15 miles north of the lake. Of course, had I known that, then yes I would have gone up there but who would have known.

I spent my moderate risk day doing yard work, going grocery shopping, and then making a taco bar for myself and Tia for dinner. An orphan anvil from convection that -tried- to go to our southwest sprinkled on me as I walked back from the grocery store with food in hand. After making a delicious dinner and stuffing my sorrows away, the cold front began to light up. I was in no mood to get suckered out for a storm to die, so I waiting until things were knocking on the door here. A storm rapidly intensified and I figured I was in business, so I finally flew out the door to head NW of town to shoot lightning photos. Once I got out there, it was quiet. Too quiet. Not a single flash of lightning. I brought up radar on my phone and sure enough, I had immediately killed the storm by even leaving the house.

There was more stuff trying sadly to go to the southwest, so I said the hell with the storms, I'll just go to the wind farm. At least I'm happy there, regardless if I have a storm to shoot. I scraped by the west edge of DeKalb and then eventually headed south of town on my usual route to my "sittin' spot" at the wind farm. I didn't even make it halfway before the sky just started lighting up! It was the craziest thing. This storm just went from no flashes at all, to flashing about every 5 seconds. I didn't have time to look for fancy spots to shoot, so I found a farm entrance deal and whipped my car off the road. Threw the camera up and had maybe two or three minutes of lightning before the storm tanked as fast as it blew up. It was quite beautiful for the time that it was around. The moon was out, directly behind the storm and illuminated the towering clouds a light blue color. I could even see the base of the storm (though, no tornadoes like there was supposed to be this day!).

Anyway, I shot this guy, and his little neighbor in the wonderful warm howling south winds before the outflow boundary over took me and I was being sprayed by rain and 40 mph winds. Headed back in a slightly better mood... but not exactly carrying what I'd expected from a day that had everyone poo'ing their pants at three days out.

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