Monday, June 20, 2011

Recent Weather (and other stuff)

It's been a very busy time as we have been stuck in an active pattern that has produced multiple rounds of significant weather across the region. I've been fortunate to document something from just about every event while still keeping up with the demands of day to day life.

June 10 - On this day a fairly well organized storm would drop into the state and despite maintaining a long lived tornado warning, it would become a big wet mess upon arrival to our area. I headed out with CAMERON CROSBY whereby instead of go for the old storm as seen in the radar capture, we would spend time with an independent miniature supercell to develop out ahead of the line. Once this low contrast cell as seen in the first still was done, we had a choice, drive N into the nearly exhausted tornado warned cell or drop S to go for new development. Opting for the new development, we were treated to an unwarned line segment to produce amazing structure and some incredible lightning. Time lapse video of both storms can be seen HERE.

June 11 - The cicadas have peaked and with that, have been dwindling away. The males are the first to die off with the females later following suit once they have deposited their eggs. Everyone has an opinion of these creatures and though many are glad to see them go, I have enjoyed the experience. When they emerge again, my daughter will be 18 and I will have hopefully made it to age 50.

June 13 - Non severe formerly warned storm between Owaneco and Pana IL. The bridge graffiti had me laughing for being the most ridiculous statement I have ever seen. Mopar thanks you :P

June 14 - Overnight lightning associated with yet another MCS to pass under the cover of darkness. I sent this image into GREG TRUMBOLD of WAND TV who was very kind to show it at the end of his morning broadcast.

June 15 - A developing storm from S of Springfield bearing supercell characteristics caught my attention so I took off to check it out. Unwarned until after I intercepted, on arrival it was becoming very well organized with a solid inflow and wall cloud. The storm would quickly become more outflow dominate and drop SE as an HP (high precipitation) supercell but not before spitting some very intense CG lightning. I would remain in the vehicle for this storm while in the notch and shoot with my window mount tripod. Time lapse video of this storm can be seen HERE and as you view it, take note of the "click" sound when you see the artificial flash (I timed this audio segment to go with the video as intro). It is the sound of a spark emitting from a nearby power pole associated with the dangerously close lightning strike.

Heading back, this unimpressive cell bearing supercell characteristics as well would intensify and go on to produce a tornado about 15 miles SE that destroyed a barn in rural Shelby county.

June 18 - The storm in the following screen capture went up on a stalled OFB (outflow boundary) left over from previous convection and would become a huge story. In the area of W Sangamon and E Morgan counties, this cell would dump heavy rain for several hours. Official measurements of over 4 inches were observed with unofficial totals of 5 to 6 inches were reported. Considerable flash flooding took place over the area with warnings to last for several days due to swollen dam releases as well as a local levee breach in Scott county. The line would eventually fill in downstream resulting in blanket flood warnings from just S of where I was on the N end of Decatur. Since I was on the backside of this complex I set a camera outside and shot continuous for the intense lightning show that was occurring throughout. A few of the better stills are below but the real purpose was to assemble a DSLR time lapse video that can be seen HERE. As you watch the video, the two clips are comprised of 120 15 second exposures that encompass a period of 30 minutes each.

Taking the one batch of 120 frames, I ran them through the star trails program resulting in this unusual lightning stack. MIKE HOLLINGSHEAD is who turned me on to this technique.

Early the next morning as the overnight system pushed on, a new one began lifting from the SW. Prompting numerous warnings across S IL including tornado on the leading edge, when the NE portion came into the area it was preceded by an impressive shelf cloud. Try as I did to get into a good location with minimal foreground obstruction, I was unable to get the shots I wanted including that for a panorama. My good friend and fellow chaser Jodi Irvin-Dewispelaere was able however to make an amazing intercept. Her images can be seen HERE. Note the widespread flood warnings in the radar capture.

Talk about impressive, note the "eye" of the mesolow center!


Mak Porter said...

Awesome captures Paul. I certainly has been active recently. Sweet time lapse also. I still am amazed at the droves of cicadas. Fifty years old? more like 90. You know you'll be yelling at kids that take a short cut through your yard when you are 90 years old, pointing your cane at them. lol

Tim Jankowski said...

Very Nice!