August 17, 2014 Thedford Nebraska Supercell

Another trip to Thedford.  Not a real long chase.  I got there to a pair of supercells west and southwest of Valentine.  This is the lead one near Brownlee.  A new storm had gone up right in front of the supercell here.  Its base is essentially over the road, as the other supercell runs into the back of it.  It got nasty fast.  Here's a 3 shot pano of it above.  Notice the cows not huddling.  Cows huddle for reasons other than storms.  Or these are all def and blind.  Cause if they can "know" hours ahead of time to get together, eh they should know by now here. 

Like always, lightning throws a wrench into my out of the car photography motivations.  Yet here I was, running back and forth to this fence at least.  The pull off here was not dirt or rock but sand.  I backed into it, making sure my front tires stayed in contact with the edge of this road.  This road being a single lane paved thing. 

Another 3 shot pano with the 24mm Samyang on a full frame 6D.  I was surprised how poor the 500 ISO was on these for noise.  Clouds are just the worst and always willing and ready to make noise jump out.  Anyway, this thing looked really mean now and was coming in fast.  The southern edge had extremely fast moving outflow motions pushing south.

I think maybe this was 3 shots with the 14mm now.  It was more or less on me now.  The cows were sure talking. 

I moved east to highway 83 and briefly stopped again.  Super green and mean and coming fast.  And hey look, different cattle not huddling because they know a storm is coming lol. 

Should have stopped down and shot more for depth of field here but the shutter was already getting slow for handheld.  I kept trying to grab some video too. And it was coming fast.  I need a better fast mount for video than my window, as I then get out to take stills I can't tell where it ends up pointing or if it moved when shutting the door.  Need to make some arm from the car frame or something. 

Time to leave.  Flew south at a rather fast clip. 

I sort of figured any good part of my storm and follow up supercell structure would be to the east side of things.  All sorts of storms were going up ahead of it north of Thedford as it crossed the highway into the roadless sandhills.  I thought it was either going to do better to the east, in a hard to get to location, or just turn into a line bowing southeast.  I picked the southeast bowing line idea and really never had data again till it was too late to try east.  I should have raced right to Dunning for data and then decided.  The east end got a big hook and velocities north of Brewster and made a mess through Burwell.  But I wasn't there, I was back west trying to find views north of Halsey.  Here's the challenge.  Drive in stuff like this till you are almost in the storm and having to turn around anyway, just looking for a view.  I flew the chopper here briefly.  Soon as I lift it off it started to sprinkle.  And the inflow wind was on the verge of too much here too.  Least I got a view up above the hills. 

The bad thing about the gopro wide is that it makes things look super far away when they are not.  If you fly it so things look closer, you are going to be landing as the storm hits.  I'm still waiting on something really worthwhile for the quadcopter.  Even outflow dust would work.  With the inflow wind and sprinkles and the storm not looking that worth it now, I decided fast that it wasn't worth losing the thing over.  I should have taken it up earlier.  It will be a tough thing, because running it will cost me ground video and stills.  Least I can take it up and park it there and then get some ground stills.  But again, you have to do so rather close to the storm and you will rapidly just run out of time. 

I went to Dunning and let this overtake me there.  Wasn't very impressive.  I should have made a run for the better east end.  But heck that was crossing north of Brewster a ways.  I'd never have beat it up there but could have down the highway to Taylor.  It was surely worth seeing through there.  Plenty of tree debris on the highway and the corn looked toast.