Dec 2014: DECEMBER
Dec 2014: Finger of God While technology in chasing has many pitfalls, when used properly, technology provides me opportunities I never had early on in chasing. With the use of near real-time radar and GPS, my partner and I were able to "thread the needle" of this tornadic thunderstorm, entering this speed demon (traveling at around 50 miles per hour to the north) through the rear flank downdraft just in time to capture this tornado over Granfield, Kansas (shot from I-70). The tornado missed the farm in the foreground, and moved so rapidly north that a second photo merely 15 seconds later showed the tornado had already sped off and out of view. But this elephant trunk pictured provided both context and size to the storm, and once again emphasized why tornadoes look so much like the Finger of God.
Nov 2014: NOVEMBER
Nov 2014: Turbulence Aloft One of the most impressive vault displays ever came from this classic nighttime supercell over Pampa, Texas, in 5/23/2002. Lightning continued to shoot out of the vault, illuminating the spectacular upper level rotation and also the long beaver tail as it entered the storm's midlevels.
Oct 2014: OCTOBER
Oct 2014: Turbulent This depression era outbuilding stands abandoned near this windmill, seemingly oblivious to the lush vegetation and roll pure white roll cloud near Buffalo, Kansas on 5/25/2008.
Sep 2014: SEPTEMBER
Sep 2014: Nachtmusik This outbuilding was lit entirely by copious amounts of sheet (CC) lightning from this tornadic storm near Vega, Texas, on 5/21/2012. This sole CG landing in-frame provided the perfect counterbalance to this broken down, circa 1940 barn.
Aug 2014: AUGUST
Aug 2014: Fleeting A forked anvil crawler spreads over Hays, Kansas, on 5/25/2012. This prolonged exposure shot captured the faint city lights in the far distance, and an oil pump that, fortunately for the photograph, was still, and thus producing an intriguing foreground. This shot eventually won a Dean's Gallery award at the University of Colorado, and highlighted the fleeting nature of our natural resources (as fleeting as the lightning bolt) and yet our utter dependence on energy (as viewed by the city lights in the background).
Jul 2014: JULY
Jul 2014: The Vault One of the most electrically active areas in a supercell is the interface between the updraft and the downdraft. The area known as the bear's cage is pictured here where the updraft base of this tornadic thunderstorm near Pampa, Texas on 6/2/2007 is to the left, and the inflow notch is seen near the center. These lightning bolts fired in very quick succession.
Jun 2014: JUNE
Jun 2014: Criss Cross In a true stroke of luck, this clear channel lightning bolt zigzagged across this beautiful rope out tornado near Hays, Kansas on 5/25/2012. The tornado is slightly blurry due to the need for a 6 second exposure time well after the sun had set.
May 2014: MAY
May 2014: The Memorial Day Miracle On a marginal chase day, a surprise storm defied the odds and became rooted along the front range of Southeast Colorado. While we were way out of position over 100 miles to its north, this storm courteously rooted itself nearly stationary near Campo, Colorado on 5/31/2010. By the time we arrived, the storm was undergoing its first episode of tornadogenesis. But several tries later, and now on the border of Colorado and Oklahoma, this spectacular tornado formed over a dirt road, remained nearly stationary for greater than 20 minutes, did no damage, and cycled through one amazing iteration after another. In this photo, the tornado looked smooth like ivory. Though not as well captured in the photo (which is shot looking north), just to the west was clear blue sky, the Rocky Mountains, and fields of yellow wildflowers. It truly was the tornado of lifetime for me in so many ways. And to make it all the sweeter, no one was injured and no property damage was sustained along its path.
Apr 2014: APRIL
Apr 2014: Lightning Tracks 2006 witnessed one of the slowest severe weather Mays on record. What I eventually dubbed "The Year of the Rainbow" for all the success I had (which resulted in myriad rainbow photos, but no severe storms), I figured the year just wasn't going to prove fruitful. To my surprise, a pop-up thunderstorm on 5/25/2006 near Burlington, Colorado provided me one of my all-time favorite lightning photos. With a shutter speed over over 13 seconds, the sky was dark without any hint of sunset to the naked eye. A perfect cloud-to-ground strike landing less than a half mile from my location became the first time I had captured a dramatic lightning shot with the sunset reflected in the railroad rails in the foreground.
Mar 2014: MARCH
Mar 2014: Dusty Rainbow On an unexpected chase day on 6/1/2007, my partner and I managed to catch a tornado in the Texas Panhandle. While the tornado itself was rain-wrapped and not interesting photographically, the wake of the storm resulted in a stunning moment of why I love chasing. As the sun set, a faint rainbow formed while cotton candy pinks and reds were cast over the remnant rear flank low-level cumuli.
Feb 2014: FEBRUARY
Feb 2014: Stack of Plates In this outflow-dominant storm, a trio of racing gust fronts resulted in a dramatic sunset over Southeast Colorado on 5/24/2005. The "boiling sky" below the shelf clouds reflected the intense outflow winds that had speeds in excess of 90 miles per hour.
Jan 2014: JANUARY
Jan 2014: Pueblo Sunset Adobe mud coated our tires preventing us from continuing a chase near Pueblo, Colorado on 5/29/2007. Destined to be stuck off this beautiful dirt road (which my GPS assured me connected with the highway--wrong!) for the rest of the night, a potential gaffe resulted in one of the most spectacular sunsets and stormscapes of my life.
BC: All Photos Copyright Jason Persoff Visit Jason at http://Stormdoctor.Com/ Storm chasing is a dangerous hobby that can result in severe injury or death. Never chase without instruction, mentoring, and a proper accounting of safety measures. Jason hopes you'll enjoy these photos and others from the safety of your home. In Memoriam: Eric Nguyen, Tim Samaras, Paul Samaras, Carl Young...Friends and fellow journeymen in pursuit of stormscapes and meteorological wonders all. Remember to donate to charity for storm relief by contacting the American Red Cross. Remembering Joplin, Tuscaloosa, and Moore...Strength in Recovery
FC: Stormscapes and Tornadoes of the Great Plains 2014 Calendar Photography of Jason Persoff, Stormdoctor.Com