May 29/09 Middlesex/Elgin Country Storm Chase
This is one of my Favorite chases ever but I accidentally left the camera at 400 Iso the whole chase.......
So I had to really work on the noise reduction and the software provided by Canon isn't nearly as good as say Photoshop at reducing noise while keeping image quality
A mushy storm was in London but there was some small cells forming fast NE of town in the countryside heading SE. I decided to intercept even though things were looking so bad the isolation the two cells had and the look of the downstream precipitation on radar caught my interest so I headed to the middle of the two......
As I cleared the mushy storm I was amazed to see a great looking boundary of some kind forming between the two storms into a shelf
This was Looking NE while I headed north. I left the house before the storms were even getting into the 30 dbz range so I was sitting pretty at this point so to speak .
After getting closer
Here was the cell to my west
Now some switch seemed to be flipped and it began to build very fast
I totally forgot about the original cells after being stopped by this amazing developing shelf, I then got focused and headed north further to get a view of the easternmost cells base as the western on was too far and blocked by precipitation obviously
Here was the shelf now moving faster and growing very fast
As it goes over
And now looking East towards a great looking but small cell, it had a clear slot and all low/midlevel clouds around it were curing into it
The very thick looking and had a lowering on its southern side
It fell apart fast sadly as the western cell and the shelf began to explode
Notice the Inflow tail though it had pointing into the core and the way the clouds to the right curved in and the ones to the left of the base were pushing left to right relative to my vantage point
The shelf over top of me was getting really mean looking and began to rotate.....
I got to see something I never have from this angle again, I saw a portion of the shelf go from almost 45 degrees to vertical and rotate!!!!! It happened fast and the motions were fast enough I thought I would see a funnel
Here it was as it was beginning to go vertical
within say 30 seconds
I now had to blast back south, I was taking these shots just east of London
This was the old eastern cell still trying
It became a shelf too but it looked like it was trying to rotate again with a wall on the north side trying to punch in it seemed
The western cell was Kind of merging with the shelf and old easternmost cell.... As it happen it became an hp mess, mean looking too. Sorry about wires but I would of had to hop a barbed fence....the 400 iso really becomes noticeable, as if it wasn't already though haha
Before it overtook me it looked so nice!
The shelf had an area of intense lift and rotation to my east
The part over top of me
and the base to my north under the shelf
Here was the SE edge of the western cell
I then basted SW to get behind this thing punching through the core. The first gust in the core moved my car as I drove pretty badly then went to a consistent level around 40-60k for a bit before I began to head SW some more
The rotation on the rear flank was great but it was about to head over the lake
And some Video
Re: May 29/09 Middlesex/Elgin Country Storm Chase
Awesome shots! Some very photogenic images in there.
- DarkSky (St. Catharines, ON (Niagara) )
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PICTURE OF THE MOMENT - Photo by: Itchy (Apr.12, 2014, London, ON)