September 6, 2007 Alma Nebraska HP Supercell

Not what I want to see early in my chase day! I'm in southwest Nebraska south of Elm Creek. I'm watching a tiny tiny storm shrivel up and die to my west. I'm just off the highway, backed up on this little road entering a field. My car is running(scared of my stupid battery dying). This white car comes to a stop on the shoulder of the highway just east of me. This very old couple get out and switch driving. After he gets around to the passenger side, the old man unzips and takes a piss right before getting back in the car! I'm so close to them it's not funny. This is a crop, almost 100%, from my ultra wide angle 10-22mm.

I had to take the picture, not because I want to see an old man taking a piss, but because it's so funny. I mean what are the odds they'd stop RIGHT here, right now, then do that. I wasn't sure it'd be cropable with that wide angle view, but it was just enough. Any other lens and we'd all be seeing more detail than we like. It's sort of hard to tell here(you can if you look close), but he dropped his pants down far enough that the majority of his underwear is showing. I thought about not putting this on here for his sake, but c'mon, he doesn't care! At least one car drove by as he's doing this. Not just that, but there's a freaking gravel road going e-w right here! I'm on the westbound one. The front of my car is right on the edge of it. Why not pull off the highway half a mile and do this??? AND....they are coming south. Guess what the next option north is, only 2 miles away that they had to come from.....a big gas station/truck stop! I first of all could not believe it in general, where he decides to do this(northbound cars could surely see all the "fun"), but I could not believe they weren't hearing my car nor seeing it. I'm in my car holding the camera over to the passenger side window. He's just lucky I had my ultrawide on, lol.

Anyway! LOL Let this be a lesson to anyone traveling tornado alley. If you can't use the gas station you JUST drove by, at least do us all a favor and pull off a gravel road a ways. If you aren't at least a bit more careful you may wind up on the internet! And again, I wouldn't put it on here if it wasn't for the fact he ignored so many other options to avoid this. I'm sure any family driving north would just love that. "Hey mom look!" And again a car did drive by that direction while he was relieving himself.

LOL I just realized how funny the stop sign is in it too. Now I kind of wish I had a better shot of this.

After my storm vanishes I head south, thanks to my data connection not working. It worked as I drove south, so I stop, only for it to go to hell again. Toss in some annoying flies and I was cussing up a storm. Chase day wasn't looking so hot at the same time. So, I head back north looking for a good area with data. I decide to check out some storms firing to the west, near the cold front. This one tried to get going just northeast of Lexington. At the same time I saw a new tower going up back to the southwest of Holdredge. Then a smaller tower tried to fire north of that one, pretty much blocking my whole view of what was going on with the main one near Holdredge. I saw enough of a backshear to start heading back south. After seeing how the earlier storm shrivelled up and died, I wasn't to eager to go back there to check on this new one...but did anyway. Sucked because at the same time the storm above here was trying to organize and be more surface based. It was going into a poor road network anyway, so I let it go.

On my way south to Holdredge I could see the storm meant business. It was very green east of the updraft, but the base seemed to be on the nw side of the thing(like a left split moving north). I wondered if there would be another base south of the core, but wasn't thinking this storm wasn't going to last. While punching it in Holdredge I encountered some street flooding in town. Some of the side streets there's just no way my car would make it through the water. This above is the main highway going south out of town(yes I'm in the wrong lane). As I cleared the rain, I found no real base anywhere. Everything was crap and high based. The base I saw on the nw side of it coming south looked a lot better than any of this stuff. It was simply trying to run over it's own precip-cooled air too much, instead of deviating right/southeast. This happens a lot when a storm isn't quite able to grab the boundary layer juice. I thought for sure it would just act like a left split moving north with the core to the se, but that didn't even happen. At least there was one more interesting storm to its west that was trying to turn right. At one point on radar it had a huge area of white, indicating 75+ dbz.

This radar shows the Holdredge(HDE) storm right as it is weakening. The one I left before is taking a crap to the north of it now too. This thing sure did put down some rain, as it was the only thing that rained on Holdredge and wasn't there long at all. The next storm, and the main one of the day for me, is straight west(left) of the Holdredge storm. It deviated right as did the one to its southwest. Interestingly enough, the NMM WRF run from the night before showed this area doing this very well...moving a storm in this area to the ese or se.

I drove west on highway 4 for a couple miles and stopped. I watched it there for a few minutes, but never even bothered to take any stills. It didn't look that great from my location. It did have one thing under it that looked like a funnel. I shot a bit of video of it, but that's it. It was continuing right and maybe turning a bit more, so I thought I'd better chase it and drop south further. As I do this I thought to myself, I should have already done this. The idiots(long line of cars) doing 10 under the speed limit were not helping my cause(seriously 50 in a 60...well they were doing 50 anyway, knowing this state the highway was probably a dumb 55mph one). My god there are a plethora of idiots out there with a ton of bad driving habits. I need to make a post on this some day, as I have such a long list of things that annoy me now. I'm always amazed at the number of people not wiling to even drive the speed limit, especially on the interstate.

Before I reach Alma I pull off the highway, onto some minimum maintenance thing. Good thing there was a small road leading up onto this field(edge of it, no I'm not parked on it). The powerlines pissed me off, but there was no time to look for something better. This thing is now a very outflow dominant supercell.

This is radar from right around this time. It's now got a hook on it and goes tornado warned as I sit here. I'm on that n-s red line(highway) ahead of it.

The rfd of the thing looked very "energetic". The storm was breathing in there and just wasn't very happy I guess.

Ah, the fun of using higher ISO to keep storm motion blur at a minimum, with lightning happening. I'm using 400 ISO, which with the lens wide open gets me to around 1/2 second for the shutter. Much past 1/2 a second with this storm and the lower clouds would blur. The lightning was frequent enough that I got one(obviously/above) with a timed 1/2 second shutter. I pushed it and was like, crap I got that bolt. Then I looked at the lcd and was like, crap, stupid 400 ISO didn't do it any favors.

Here's a shot taken just after the bolt, showing how the storm looked without the big flash.

I made a gif of the last two images. I wish I had the non-lightning still before the lightning one, as the gif looks like it is running backwards showing the flash then the norm. But, the bolt was the first image I got when I faced the camera in that direction again.

Rapidly getting closer. It's getting a tornado warning right about now, not that I knew about it at the time. Any tornado hopes would be right of this shot. There was no tornado.

Backed up to my minimum maintenance road, getting ready to leave. I hate it when it is looking cool, but is going to overtake you if you don't leave now. You can screw yourself for any later views if you let it overtake you and try to get back out. At the same time, it can take a crap 5 minutes later and you'd wish you'd gotten a couple more stills before moving.

This and the one before it were at 10mm, so you can guess the storm is pretty much on my location now.

Driving south here. That's my mirror in the top right. It got a little windy in Alma, but not too bad. It provided a nice light show as I drove east, but I was never able to stop as it was always right on me, and much of the lightning was actually well east of it in its anvil.

Surely not a terrible chase. Hell it's probably the best storm I've seen in September. That should say something for the month of September normally....or maybe my ability(lack of) I guess lol.

The drive home was fun. I can't stand driving in heavy rain at night. Needing new tires doesn't help this, not to mention the inside of my headlight covers are caked with something....and apparen't aren't made to be cleaned. I had this storm behind me, with another portion to its north, both quickly moving east now. Then a couple east west lines were forming ahead of me in se NE. One was more east west with the other a bit more ne-sw. I thought for sure I was in for a horrible drive home. I thought, well I have data, I can see what I can do to avoid as much as possible. I stayed ahead of the storms going east easy enough with the due east highway. I hit those storms in se NE right at Hebron, or actually just the edge of them. Goine east of there wasn't an option as it looked like hell. So since that n-s highway to York is 4 lanes I figured I may as well use it and punch north as the storms to my west overtake me going east. Well they nicely took a crap as they got to me. I was in sprinkles but never had to use my wipers. For what looked like a sure hellish drive home in the rain, it was amazingly rain free the whole way. That's probably the worst part about chasing, some of those drives home in rain.