Saturday, October 11, 2014

Blood Moon II

The second lunar eclipse of 2014 came to pass on the morning of the 8th and fortunately under clear skies on a night off that I could be out away from city light. Initially I wanted to create a time lapse sequence of the entire event but failed due to camera malfunctioning issues. I still got the majority of it and even played around with a separate fun idea that my kid could share with her friends.

Reflection in a flooded tire rut.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Storm of the Summer II

Arriving home around sunset under a ridiculously heavy thunderstorm with intense lightning ongoing at the time, I decided to wait out the deluge vs. attempt to get fuel. The nearby CG's occurring in rapid succession were by far the most extreme I have experienced in recent memory if not ever that I am consciously aware. From far NW IL, sprites were observed from high above the distant complex which is a rare phenomena you might not necessarily expect here (wiki). One strike hit a substation down the road resulting in a fairly expansive power outage. With no electricity, the nearest gas station had to close but I didn't want to be far from my household anyways since they were in the dark. As the storm departed and the rain stopped, crawler activity on the backside emerged. Trudging up the block that was awash in heavy street flooding to position away from obstacles, I set up in an open soccer field. Without question, it was the most prolific display that I struggle to find comparison to with the closest exception being a night in August of 2008. Activity was confined to the upper anvil with multiple streaks passing directly overhead and filling my wide angle in its entirety.

Back home from the porch.

Venturing out on fumes to where I learned that power had not been interrupted in the hope of finding an open station as well as food for the household since we couldn't cook, luck would fortunately prevail. After dropping off dinner, I spent the remainder of the event out in the country where I would have preferred to be the entire time. No complaints though as this was by far the Storm of the Summer.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Storm of the Summer I

August 26th was without a doubt the most incredible lightning event of the 2014 season. A lone cell to fire from just NW of the area would quickly mature into a ridiculous CG (cloud to ground) producing beast. Though I was unable to image any of the strikes while it was still daylight, the level of intensity was both extremely unsettling and on a level I have not experienced in recent memory. Two things I wish I had thought to do was a.) get video and b.) study meso-analysis to better understand why it was so insane with emphasis on regional CAPE values at the time. Beginning from NW of Decatur, lightning would not become an issue till NE of town out near Argenta so initially, I thought it would simply be a leisurely end of day structure tour.

This was where it began to get serious for while standing between a 200' power pole span, lightning struck the pole to my right placing me 100' from the point of contact. I would spend the remainder of the time inside a vehicle.

This scene does no justice for demonstrating the CG barrage occurring at the I-72 exit near Argenta. It was an incredibly beautiful storm but far too dangerous to be outside plus I was low on fuel and unable to stay ahead.

Abandoning so to backtrack for fuel, I was disappointed for not being able to get well ahead to somewhere safe as it was also capturing the light perfectly. Thinking this was it for the day with this particular storm now getting away from me, I was not prepared for what would come with nightfall.