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  • Hennessey Inferno

  • From the distance we had seen a big smoke pall near Hennessey, on the way toward some storms we intended to investigate regardless.  That smoke turned out to emanate not just from trash or grass--the latter already having incinerated in the foreground--but grove of dry, oily cedars, other brush, and an outbuilding or two on [...]
  • Otherworldly Twilight Sky

  • On a fine spring eventide in central Kansas, two light sources, diffused and reflected and refracted every which way, wrapped around and through a supercell to yield one of the most surreal western skies one can behold.  Warm tones from what was left of the distant sunset blended with cool blues from the unseen twilight sky,[...]
  • Funnel-Shaped Chugwater Tornado

  • Seldom do we witness a tornado whose visible part truly looks like a funnel:  fat at the top, tapering rapidly to a narrow cone at the bottom.  By now a firmly-planted, "no doubt" tornado, air from the occlusion downdraft already was wrapping most (if not all) the way around the vortex, even this early in its lifespan. Notic[...]
  • Bouldery Burnscape

  • From time to time, managers of the Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge conduct planned burns to char old grass and brush, reproducing on small scales the vast prairie fires that once swept through the same area. These controlled burns not only stem excessive cactus cover, but take down non-native weeds, free space for[...]
  • Checotah Gloaming

  • An otherwise frustrating storm-intercept day closed with a valued and needed reminder of the beauty of the sky behind the storm, and of every day granted to us anew.  The very opportunity to witness this passing blaze of twilight brilliance was a blessing in that moment and still today, and as with any chance to gaze skyward[...]
  • Multivortex in the Bear's Cage

  • While driving S to get ahead of a virulently rotating, rain-wrapped mesocyclone, the curtains parted just enough to reveal a stout cone tornado with multiple vortices buzzing around its base. Seldom do scenes of rain-wrapped tornadoes offer so much color: a pronounced turquoise hue permeating the deep load of precipitation a[...]
  • Gateway Arch in the Mist

  • Still a spectacular monument and impressive feat of construction after over 40 years atop the St. Louis skyline, the Gateway Arch is one of the most photographed structures in the world. Nonetheless, never have I seen it depicted from this vantage, in the rain and mist, at night. So when I noticed it this way during a walk d[...]
  • 7-11 Lightning: Strike One

  • An otherwise innocuous multicell cumulonimbus, drifting through the late twilight sky south of town, began flinging huge and brilliant bolts of lightning between its upper reaches and ground, sometimes extending several horizontal miles away from their source.  This was the first of perhaps a dozen I saw, and half as many th[...]
  • Rainbow from Above

  • Ascending on an Atlanta-bound curve northwestward from Fort Lauderdale, this surprising scene appeared for about three seconds--fortunately, just enough time to aim and fire with an already-focused and gripped camera.   We don't often experience the novelty of peering downward at a rain shower with just the right sunlight an[...]
  • Electric Scythe in the Sky

  • Fingers of deadly amperage extend most of the way groundward from their source high in the middle to upper levels of an oncoming thunderstorm.   Most such "crawlers" extend horizontally for many miles, but somehow this path of least resistance led almost to the surface. 3 SSW Altus, OK (26 April 14) Looking NW 34.5953, -[...]
  • Wave Reflections at Sunset

  • A wonderful sunset sky of western orange and overhead indigo reflected off the lake's surface as abstract art in motion. This was a scene when I spent as much time looking down as up, despite my innate urge to gaze skyward. Much of the wonderment there wasn't only in the colors or the light effects, but also, in the nearly h[...]
  • Blowing off Steam

  • Sulfurous vapors hiss forth from cobbled vents and waft ceaselessly across the denuded countryside of Hverir, a geothermal area associated with past fissure eruptions in Iceland's Krafla volcanic system. Where relatively lacking of people, and when looking certain directions, these lands offer a primordial time travel into t[...]