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Weather

Severe thunderstorm rolls across the Colorado plains

This beast of a storm had some incredibly cool clouds on its underside.  The hail roar as it passed by was absolutely amazing and went on for 20 minutes straight.

Hail roar is oftentimes mistaken for thunder but is in fact the rumbling sound of hailstones cycling up and down within the storms structure and smashing into each other.  It usually sounds like a low rumble, generally constant in tone and volume.

Seeing a storm like this is cool; hearing it adds to the excitement and drama.

A severe thunderstorm rolls across the Colorado plains. (© Tony’s Takes)

A severe thunderstorm rolls across the Colorado plains. (© Tony’s Takes)

Foreboding clouds

Whether they spawn a tornado or not, the clouds of a supercell thunderstorm are a thing of beauty to me. The overall structure can be extraordinary and its scale immense or, as in this picture, one part of it can show the drama on a finer level.

Here, a lowering in the storm’s structure draws your eye as it passes over a field. It is an intense scene, one which can’t help but make you wonder if a twister isn’t to follow soon (unfortunately it did not). Image taken near Lamar, Colorado on June 11, 2015.

A supercell thunderstorm near Lamar, Colorado look particularly ominous as part of it lowers toward the ground. (© Tony’s Takes)

A supercell thunderstorm near Lamar, Colorado look particularly ominous as part of it lowers toward the ground. (© Tony’s Takes)

The stormy road ahead

Scud clouds from a severe thunderstorm in New Mexico loom ominously over a road in the high desert. Most folks wouldn’t think of the Land of Enchantment as a place to go to view severe weather. However the state does see impressive thunderstorms and the unique landscape provides for some very picturesque scenes.

We caught up to this storm not long after it dropped copious amounts of hail on Interstate 25. As it moved into less well-traveled areas, it became quite electrified and ominous.

Scud clouds ahead of a thunderstorm pass over a New Mexico road.  (© Tony’s Takes)

Scud clouds ahead of a thunderstorm pass over a New Mexico road. (© Tony’s Takes)

Lightning illuminates a nocturnal beast

Severe thunderstorms can be intimidating enough during broad daylight. Let the sun set and the 75mph winds, tennis ball size hail, and tornado warnings can be downright scary for those in the storm’s path.

Normally you wouldn’t see much of the storm – or perhaps a brief glimpse. However in this case, the lightning was letting loose with multiple flashes per second. Enough in fact that in a 3 second exposure, virtually the entire structure of this massive supercell thunderstorm is seen.

Watching it was like staring at a strobe light and some of my fellow storm chasers even remarked that it made them feel disoriented. Notice how the storm absolutely dwarfs the grain elevator below. Taken near Springfield, Colorado on June 11, 2015.

A supercell thunderstorm in Colorado is illuminate at night by numerous lightning strikes.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A supercell thunderstorm in Colorado is illuminate at night by numerous lightning strikes. (© Tony’s Takes)

The little funnel that couldn’t

I did my best to provide encouragement and support but it just wasn’t meant to be. The funnel tried, really tried, but it just couldn’t get its act together to become a tornado in western Nebraska last week. 😉

BTW, notice the hawk that happened to photobomb this pic toward the top right.

A funnel cloud appears at the base of a thunderstorm while a hawk soars through the air. (© Tony’s Takes)

A funnel cloud appears at the base of a thunderstorm while a hawk soars through the air. (© Tony’s Takes)

Mammatus clouds bubble underneath a supercell thunderstorm

These are probably some of the coolest clouds you can ever see. Comprised mostly of ice, they form under the anvil of supercell thunderstorms and oftentimes are a sign of severe weather to come. These particular clouds were underneath a storm that was approaching Lamar, Colorado last Thursday, June 11, 2015. The storm brought powerful winds and hail 2 1/2 inches in diameter.

Mammatus clouds bubble underneath a supercell thunderstorm.  (© Tony’s Takes)

Mammatus clouds bubble underneath a supercell thunderstorm. (© Tony’s Takes)

Supercell Thunderstorm storms through Texas.

Taken yesterday evening, this beast of a storm was ripping through west Texas near the town of Littlefield. As it intensified, it dropped tennis ball size hail and winds of 75mph. The winds kicked up dirt and dust creating almost haboob-like conditions.

Two minutes after this picture was taken, visibility dropped to 30 feet or less. It was an amazing experience, if maybe a bit disconcerting.

A supercell thunderstorm whips up a duststorm in west Texas. (© Tony’s Takes)

A supercell thunderstorm whips up a duststorm in west Texas. (© Tony’s Takes)

The Mothership

We chased this gorgeous supercell thunderstorm yesterday for the better part of three hours. It was a beautiful, very picturesque storm. With a lack of low level shear, it was never much of a tornado threat although it did generate one, short-lived funnel. This image was taken northwest of Lamar, Colorado.

A supercell thunderstorm rages across the plains near Lamar, Colorado.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A supercell thunderstorm rages across the plains near Lamar, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

High desert lightning

Out storm chasing this week and found myself in the Land of Enchantment. This storm cell dropped 4+ inches of hail near Springer, New Mexico a couple of hours before this picture was taken yesterday evening. This was taken as the storm passed near Tucumcari and Interstate 40. It was quite electrified as it approached allowing me to grab some nice images of the bolts it was throwing down.

Lightning erupts from a supercell thunderstorm in New Mexico. (© Tony’s Takes)

Lightning erupts from a supercell thunderstorm in New Mexico. (© Tony’s Takes)

High plains funnel cloud

A thunderstorm rolls through southwestern Nebraska when it develops a small and short lived funnel cloud. Notice the funnel toward the top left.

Not an overly impressive storm this past Sunday but it was picturesque with the still green wheat fields below and the dark clouds above.

A small funnel cloud appears above farm land in Nebraska. (© Tony’s Takes)

A small funnel cloud appears above farm land in Nebraska. (© Tony’s Takes)