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:star: Witness the power of nature...:star:


Sometimes, the big storms that you expected to fire never happen. A lot of the time though, there's a saving grace. In this case, it was these small towering cumulus that went up just after sunset. The scene was surreal! :wow:


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:star: Witness the power of nature...:star:


Tough to capture this scene with a camera and really do it justice, but making a panorama is just about as close as I can get. Shortly after the sun set, these updrafts started going up all around us! :wow: Before long, we would have one explode right above us that would go on to produce an incredible mammatus display ;)


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:star: Witness the power of nature...:star:


Here's the silver lining of yesterday's chase, which essentially amounted to a bust ^^; Storm coverage was limited in our target area. The HRRR (weather model) ended up nailing the forecast, with storms firing in northwest Kansas and western Oklahoma but not in south-central Kansas. The paramaters were awesome. Adequate instability, great EHI values, plenty of bulk shear and moisture, backed surface winds, clouds cleared out early enough for daytime heating... but nothing happened. Gonna guess the wind profiles didn't have enough veering with height to sustain updrafts past their initial push. That, or the bad luck of 2012 just continues :P Did get a couple keeper images of some weaker updrafts earlier in the evening (one of which looked moderately supercellular) but nothing to write home about. All in all, it was really just nice to get out with friends and take photos again :)


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:star: Witness the power of nature...:star:


Sometimes the best part of a storm is its backside. Even if the system is largely disorganized (which can often be the case), there may be a mammatus display like this trailing behind. :nod: There's always something special about the light behind a thunderstorm. So tumultuous, yet so soft and beautiful :)


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One of my favorite bolts from an electrical storm last summer. Wish scenes like this occurred more often! =D This storm was putting out several bolts a second, right over my house! :wow:


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Another panorama from last year's awe-inspiring twilight mammatus display. You can see the flanking line that kept the storm in the center alive, and on the right, you can see the storm that would go on to produce our mammatus display :) There was something so magical about the light that night. Mammatus like these aren't incredibly rare (they form under lots of storms) but the way the light hit them made them feel so much closer to the ground. I felt like we were kids in a tent whose roof was lined with clouds =D


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One of the most common (and one of my favorite) atmospheric phenomena: iridescence. Not always spectacular and not always widespread, but when the sun refracts just right through newly-formed vapor droplets, it can produce some fantastic colors ;) To look for this phenomenon, keep an eye on the "silver lining" of clouds near the sun (while at least wearing sunglasses, of course). :)


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:star: Witness the power of nature...:star:


Temperatures were warm today, which brought some small showers to the area. Or at least, they tried to be showers :XD: They were more like virga-storms, as most of their rain never reached the ground. For those of you looking for a little knowledge, virga is precipitation that falls from a cloud but never reaches the ground. It looks like wispy feathery streaks falling out of a cloud :nod: The more you know! :la:


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:star: Witness the power of nature...:star:


As this storm exploded after twilight, an incredible scene unfolded before our eyes. As the updraft intensified, mammatus began to develop under the updraft. Before long, the field of mammatus was flickering with crawling bolts of lightning, right over our heads! :wow: Wish I would have shot this in RAW :shakefist: Oh well, hopefully something equally as photogenic next spring ;)

To see the full set of images from this day, click here!


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Yeah yeah, don't go on the tracks, I know :P After a day of failing to find something interesting to shoot, ~INTOtheRFD and I ended up photographing this sunset over the railroad tracks near Ames, NE. Not the craziest or most unique scene, but it's always nice to drive back with at least something in the bag :)


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