Monday 2nd May 2022 – Oklahoma (Moderate Risk)

Started today in Norman and SPC went with a 15% Hatched area for Tornadoes mainly in NW to North Central Oklahoma. Once again we would be plagued with a SE Crashing Cold Front which would catch upto the Dryline Storms and we had to hope something could fire and get the job done before the Undercutting would occur.

My target today was Fairview and we got there in good time about 30 miles east of the Dryline. Storms fired nice and early around 3pm and we watched and waited for one to become severe. We got onto our first Storm as it neared Fairview and gained a Tornado warning, we punched through to the SE side through small hail and watched a rotating wall cloud. Another storm to its south then started to rain into our updraught and started to kill it off. Another Storm about 30 miles to our South East near Waynoka now looked like the one to be on so we blasted south and east. The Storm quickly gained a Tornado warning and we had a great view of the Updraught and Wall Cloud from the west as we approached Loyal.

As we turned East towards Loyal with the hook in front of us a Tornado dropped in front of us, the Meso churning away in front of us, this Storm had a real chance at a Strong Tornado occuring but it had the Cold Front just behind us catching it up really fast and almost pulling it into the line.

Amazing sight seeing the RFD Clear slot in the above picture.

The Storm was now being undercut by the Cold Front so it was one last Supercell to go after down near Chickasha and we headed south through El Reno and south towards Chickasha. This Storm was a stunning LP Supercell but we were on the wrong side to see the Bell Shaped Structure unfortunately. We chased the storm all the way to the I35 Corridoor near Purcell and noted quite a bit of rotation but ultimately the Cold Front caught this storm as well. We then watched the Squall line head towards us.

We then went North to Norman and watched the Mammatus on the clearing Squall get lit up in the Setting Sun.

Sunday 1st May 2022 – Texas Panhandle (Enhanced Risk)

Started today from Norman with a general target of the Southern Texas Panhandle and NW Texas. SPC went with a 5% Tornado Risk and Storms today would have long elongated hodographs suggestive of Splitting storms. We got onto a Storm just North of the I-20 Interstate which was struggling as it was moving east with continual splitting. Our attention was drawn to a storm further east on a Stationery Boundary so we headed east to near Snyder. When we headed North the Supercell which was almost stationery gained a Tornado Warning and a Confirmed rain wrapped Tornado was reported at this time SE of Snyder, we had a great view from just SW of the Storm of the backside of the Mesocyclone and various funnels and rapid rising motion was occuring. Although we never spotted the Tornado from our location the RFD And Occlusion process was a sight to see from our position. Light was now fading so we rolled into Snyder to gas up and call it quits for the day.

Friday 29th April 2022 – Kansas (Moderate Risk)

First day back since 2019 due to Covid and hoping I wasnt too rusty and all my equipment worked. My Target was Between Wichita and Salina and a Dryline would be the focal point for Storms Today. SPC Had added a 15% Tornado Risk within their Moderate Risk for today.

Storms Erupted around Mcpherson and we chased the above Supercell towards Chapman, it produced a weak Tornado before being consumed by the crashing cold front from the west.

We dropped south after the Storm had been consumed and the Quasi Linear Line was advancing ESE just to our west all the time. But something amazing happened which we were not expecting, the Cold Front then turned into a line of Semi Discrete Supercell which all started getting tornado warnings and started to drop Tornadoes, we saw another 2 Tornadoes on our journey south. The first being a Tornado to our west near Ramona and the 2nd a large wedge which just crossed behind us. The setting sun behind the cold front was also making for some amazing cloudscapes.

Other side of the above picture below showing a Proper Tornado and NOT a Landspout – Pic from Brandon Sullivan

We now started to hear of a Violent Tornado (EF3) ravaging parts of Andover which is east of Wichita at this time and could see the Storm to our South which looked very LP in Nature from our point and having seen the pictures of Andover there looks to be hardly any precip from any angle meaning the Tornado would have been highly visible from all sides.

And finally the Andover Tornado Below which was ongoing to our south.

All in all not a bad first chase back with 3 Tornadoes straight off the bat to kick off the 2020’s decade but could and should have done better.

 

Saturday 11th July 2020 – Noctilucent Neowise

The mission was plain and simple – To try and get the Comet Neowise and NLCs in the same picture and a once in a lifetime shot literally as the next time the comet visits us will be in the year 8700. After waiting patiently for 5 nights for a clear night after Low Pressure had the UK in Cloud and Rain since the weekend before everything looked set for Friday Night and Saturday Morning of the 10/11th July.

During the week I had extensively scouted out new locations with a North view and found a nice spot on the Dengie Peninsular in Essex which is about 40 minutes away from my house. We left at 1145pm and arrived at the location at 1230am. The Comet was visible with full tail even when we arrived just under the star Capella.

There was so much going on including a stunning Moon Rise in the East around 1am, add into that 2 amazing Persoid Meteors and an ISS pass overhead and this was even before the NLCs started to show. I first started to see the NLCs in the North West Sky viewable only by camera at this stage. But with the Moon rising and lighting up the foreground and the NLCs getting stronger and higher in the Sky the stage was set. I pulled off this first shot around 2am

Success straight away with the Comet and NLCs in the same image but the show was just getting going and some incredible cloud formations in the NLCs were stealing the show.

The display was getting stronger all the time as we neared 3am

The rippling effect was amazing to watch but by now the Comet had moved too far away in the North East Sky to get in the same shot. We got 1 last shot around 330am as the NLCs were dying off and as the tide came in enough to get a nice reflection shot.

Another great night of NLC action in this amazing season for it.

Sunday 5th July 2020 – SE Essex Noctilucent Event

After finally waiting over a week for clear skies an early event started to show itself even when it was still light at 930pm. Straight away it was high up in the sky so knew this would be my chance at the windmill at Mountnessing as the NLCs were also in the North East sky and not north under Capella. I got to the Windmill around 10pm and started to take some pictures, the clouds peaked around 1035pm and were all gone by 11pm tonight. Picture below.

On the night and morning of the 7th and 8th there was one of the best shows of the season but the whole of England was clouded out with only parts of Scotland and Northern Ireland in the clear skies, a chance missed and also a chance at Comet Neowise in the sky as well for a limited time.

Friday 26th June 2020 – SE Essex Noctilucent Event

Another Visit from the NLCs was looking likely for this day with the AIM Radar looking good for the 26th June. Skies had been cloudy most of the day but around 9pm they cleared and too the north a great display was setting up and quite early as well at 1015pm. I did not really have a lot of time to position so went to the airport viewing point and got some nice pictures of this 90 minute event. Clouds once again rolled in from a frontal system which curtailed any pre dawn event happening which was a shame.

The Outlook going forward is not great for the next few weeks with Low pressure becoming dominant so am not expecting many visible displays until the 2nd week of July.

Monday 22nd June 2020 – SE Essex Noctilucent Event

So the stage was set, all radars were looking good, there was High Tide at Hulbridge at 0215am and hours earlier a strong display had been present before the sun went below the horizon. Would this be the night that I would get the reflections on the water if the NLC rose high enough. On driving to Hullbridge Quay once down country lanes the northern sky looked like the sun had already come up and was ablaze with NLC already. I got down there and set up at 2am, the NLCs were stretched from North West all the way through North East and my 55mm lens would not be big enough for this. There was not a breathe of wind and High Tide was about to peak. Focus was sorted pin sharp and for the next 90 minutes until 320am it was a lovely feeling watching the ripples and waves of the NLCs with just the ducks making a noise on the water. I took over 150 pictures and the best one was the one below.

An amazing event of these beautiful clouds

Sunday 21st June 2020 – SE Essex Noctilucent Event

After the frontal rain had cleared through and light afternoon showers had cleared away we were now in a favourable 5 day High Pressure Pattern and any decent NLC event would be easy to see with crystal clear skies. In the evening I checked the various radars and the Daisy AIM images on Space Weather and things were looking good. Around 1030pm I went into my garden and could see quite a strong event setting up to my North and North West so grabbed the camera and headed to the Airport viewing area again, this time I made sure to nail the focus as the NLCs were getting vivid with waves and ripples and the sunset colours were also spectacular. The event last from 1030 until 1130pm and I was happy with this shot of the Church with NLCs behind.

This was the best event of the year so far and I knew the morning show would be even better so got home recharged the batteries and got ready to head to Hullbridge in the early hours.

Saturday 20th June 2020 – SE Essex Noctilucent Event

On the morning of the 20th of June around 2am at Hullbridge Quay and again in the evening of the 20th this time at the Southern end of Southend Airport weak Noctilucent Displays were observed over South East Essex. Again I really need to sort my focus out on my camera as unfortunately the blurring is occuring in the pictures.

The first sighting of weak NLCs timed with a low tide at Hullbridge so no reflections this time but nice to see none the less, the display lasted for around 90 minutes until 315am

On the evening of the 20th we only had a brief window in the evening due to a frontal system moving in from the west and the morning of the 21st would be clouded out, once again the focus needs to be sharper but a really nice image of St Lawrence Church in Eastwood with the NLCs behind and above.

Tuesday 16th June 2020 – Uk Storm Chase

The Uk was pretty much in the middle of 6 days of a favourable pattern for Severe Storms with a Trough Parked out towards the Western English Channel and moisture being pumped up from the South with SE Flow persisting from Saturday 13th until Friday 19th June. After the first 3 days of this event with probably upto 20 Funnel Clouds and Tornadoes being reported across England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales it was becoming clear that my little part of the world namely SE Essex was not going to get even 1 drop of rain from these Storms so drastic action was taken and I focused on this day to chase some storms around Western East Anglia and the East Midlands.

Most of the storms this week had been initiated from Convergence Zones from Sea Breezes or Orographic Lift, and some of the hillier areas benefiting from these SE winds were the South & North Downs, The Chilterns, The Cotswolds, Penines and Peak District along with Snowdonia and the Southern Uplands of Scotland.

Morning Models were painting a decent picture of a CZ line by around 4pm along the A14 area from Cambridge to Kettering and up towards Leicester and Nottingham so I drove to Northants and watched small popcorn storms initiate and die within 30 minutes for most of the day.

Around 530pm the Storm above got its act together near St Neots and was throwing out quite a lot of clear and visible Cg Lightning Bolts, the structure was also pulling together See Below

But ultimately the Storms never really got to severe levels and I broke off the chase around 730pm with the drive home to SE Essex in front of me.

The week did feauture a couple of Supercells in amongst the hundreds of pop up storms but when you are dealing with 500-700jkg of Cape each day finding that one diamond is scarce to almost impossible unless you luck out. Was great to finally hear thunder again though.