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  • Western Blast

  • High amperage sizzles several square inches of a mesa north of a southeastern Nevada town as a high-based storm cluster lumbers westward.  After the requisite delay at the speed of sound, a deep report of thunder boomed across the valleys and hills, echoing off mountainsides and mesas, reminding all within earshot of what wa[...]
  • Beware Storms with Mustaches

  • One of the late, great NWS meteorologist Al Moller's favorite admonitions to storm spotters, chasers, students, and others in rapt audiences was:  "Beware storms with mustaches!"  That folksy wisdom, from a keen scientist and father of storm-spotter training, had strong foundations.  Although this storm was not tornadic, som[...]
  • Updraft Base, Amarillo Hailer

  • After producing baseball-sized hail near Four Way, a couple of wall clouds and even funnels, this marvelous, high-based supercell turned almost due southward across the High Plains of the Panhandle, in a defiantly rightward display of deviant motion.   Here it moved directly over the east side of Amarillo, whose downtown can[...]
  • Rain-Wrapped CG

  • A young supercell, freshly cast off the formative southern end of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, made its way southeastward across the scrublands of eastern New Mexico, with nearly continual rumbles of thunder aloft and an occasional distant boom from cloud-to-ground strokes.  As with this one, most of the CGs were buried i[...]
  • Horseshoe Vortex on Supercell Inflow Band

  • We were admiring a fine-enough supercell in the western sky when—lo and behold!—I spied out of the left peripheral vision a sight not seen before.  Riding along the top of the westward-feeding low-level inflow band was a horseshoe vortex (far middle left), a slowly rotating cloud tube formed from shear-induced stretching of [...]
  • Keystone Shelf

  • It was no time for casual crappie jiggin' in the flooded trees.  Formerly a supercell, this storm was overtaken by the southern end of a strengthening squall line as its outflow and shelf cloud surged toward the western reaches of an overfilled, muddy Keystone Lake.  The spring-green forest, flooded by water laden with red-b[...]
  • Sherbet Sky

  • A small, soft-looking storm over the high desert (6,700-ft ground elevation) didn't promise much photogenic action—until sunset!  Enough low clouds were in the way that when the hidden mid and upper levels of the storm's convective cloud plume started to light up with sunset color, it diffused downward in pastel through much[...]
  • Outflow Spark

  • Most of my first-ever "monsoon chase" trip in 2017 was inactive storm-wise, save the first three and last three days.  However, the storms that did happen and the days between, spent in the amazing Utah and northern Arizona national parks, made it all worthwhile.   This final storm of the trip had been a photogenic supercell[...]
  • Upstream from Angel's Landing

  • To arrive here, one must hike a series of switchbacks adding up to 2.5 miles and 1500 vertical feet each way from the Virgin River, or a total of 5 miles and 3,000 vertical feet.  Parts of the hike ain't easy, traversing slick, tilted, sand-covered rock slopes bracketed by thousand-foot dropoffs within just a few feet distan[...]
  • Mountainside Jolts

  • Surrounded on three sides by intermittently sparky thunderstorms but with none decisively better, I had a pick of possibilities for capturing lightning.  After turning camera attention toward a fresh core dump starting to sweep across the mountainsides to the south, the storm temporarily and inexplicably quietened.  It was h[...]
  • One Pacific Evening

  • One Pacific evening, in the cool and still ocean air, uncommonly gentle ocean waters slowly overlapped a long and broad shoreline at low tide, smoothly coating the sand and reflecting the subtle hues of the sunset hour, as a thin and shallow marine fog floated across the distance.  It was a moment both ephemeral and indelibl[...]
  • Somber Icelandic Stormscape

  • Just several miles below the Arctic Circle itself, the closest one will see there to a "dark day" stormy convective regime follows a convergence boundary across Iceland's deeply incised northern (Arctic Ocean) coast.  Somber, textured, slate-colored skies, and the ominous shadows they cast upon landscapes, have captivated me[...]