| NIGHT SKY
|January 4, 2013: Been quite a while since my last update, and a lot has changed. I briefly thought about selling the website, since I don't get enough material to update as much as I'd like. Probably won't be much chasing going on this spring, as I have higher priorities in life at the moment. I'll definitely get out at least a few times though and hopefully get a couple tornadoes. If I ever get time I think I might revamp the site and get rid of chase accounts and do a gallery style instead. Time will tell. Recently got CS5 and have motivation to reprocess some images. Here's one for now, and maybe more later.
May 20, 2012: Shot the solar eclipse from lake Waconia, Minnesota tonight. Got pretty lucky with these fishermen deciding to troll the area right under the sun from my vantage point.
April 15, 2012: Posted the account for the April 14 Kanopolis lake, Kansas tornado. Check it out here. Last monday there were auroras visible as far south as Kansas, I ended up going to branched oak lake NW of Lincoln about 25 miles. It was nice to see the big green arc again, but it was nothing like the October 2011 event. The shot below is from last monday. After this latest chase, I got a solid 25-30 minutes of tornado footage, and thus I've decided to produce a DVD. I've entitled it "Violent vapor". It should be released in August or September 2012. Guessing it will run $15-20. Check back this fall for that.
April 15, 2012: Video from yesterday... I'll post the full account with photos and the details behind the crazy day sometime this week. Don't have time right now though, need to catch up on some homework, busy week of class and work.
April 15, 2012: Big day yesterday. Really long story, but ended up intercepting a really big tornado in central Kansas, got some sweet video I'll post in a couple days. Like I said, REALLY long story, a lot of crazy stuff happened. Here's a shot of the tornado 1/2 mile to my north.
April 1, 2012: Went on the first chase of the year on Thursday. It was a pretty local and marginal setup, but it was basically in my backyard so I had to chase it. Only drove 100 miles and got into some pretty big hail at times, up to tennis ball. I should have stopped to pick up the biggest ones but I didn't want to get hit in the head while they were falling lol. I need to keep a helmet in my car. He's a stone just a bit bigger than golfball sized. NWS calls it "hen egg" sized lol. This was Northeast of Tecumseh, Nebraska.
March 15, 2012: Went to the badlands last weekend in hopes of seeing aurora after two big M flares blew off the sun. The aurora didn't pan out but we had a blast shooting moonlit scenes and hiking around at night. I've got roughly one thousand images from the trip, so needless to say there will be a fairly lengthy account up at some point. Here are a couple for now...
January 4, 2012:First time I've seen Quadrantid meteors. It's usually cloudy and way too cold to go out and watch for them. With the unseasonably warm weather we've had I ended up going out for 4 hours and seeing 142 meteors. It started very slow with only 31 in the first two hours. Then as the moon set activity increased and in an hour and a half we saw 110. Even though a dozen or so went through my camera frame they weren't bright enough to show up. Here are two star trails I did during the event. From near North Bend, Nebraska.
December 7, 2011: Mainly updating here just for the sake of you all knowing I am still alive. Been real busy with school and work, and beyond that there hasn't been anything too interesting going on. Hoping that there will be a fairly local ice storm sometime this winter to go document, otherwise there may not be any updates till spring (unless I decide to make a trip to squaw creek for eagles). Here's a new shot from June 19 north of Max, Nebraska.
October 25, 2011: Had an awesome northern lights display last night, but I've seen. In fact I wouldn't even call what I previously have seen a display at all! This was just amazing, it only lasted about 10 minutes, but it was the best ten minutes of my life. There are no words that describe the feeling when you see the vibrant reds and greens (not as vibrant as the camera picks up with the naked eye however. What an incredible adrenaline rush it was! The crash was terrible a few hours afterwards lol. This was as amazing as being a quarter mile from a tornado, easily. You need to see these, to understand what I mean. I got 8 photos up in an **account**. I might add more later.
October 24, 2011: WOW. I finally witnessed a major aurora display, from Nebraska!! here's one image for now, plenty more to come soon!
September 8, 2011: The Lincoln Airshow is this weekend and after I got out of my last class I was greeted with the blue angels flying over memorial stadium. It was pretty sweet. Once I got back home I decided to head over to the airport to get some early shots of them. They only flew close to overhead once, and luckily it was the only time they were flying side by side. More to come later this weekend.
September 6, 2011: Haven't posted in a while because I haven't had many photos worthy of posting. I'll try to update more often this fall though. Probably going to shoot the Lincoln airshow this weekend, so hopefully that will yield some post worthy imagery. Here are a few from the last couple weeks anyway. One from Tuesday morning just north of Beatrice of Zodiacal light, and the other is from late August a close-ish CG hits near my apartment in Lincoln.
July 27, 2011: Posted an account with photos from various chases this spring and summer that didn't have enough photos for their own account. It's the first one posted on the Chase Page. I also put up a map of places I've chased, with labels of how the chase went on that page too. Tomorrow I'll get some random summer images up.
July 27, 2011: After chasing for a few years now, I think I need to learn to sit out even more chase days. I don't care much for mediocre storms anymore, it either needs to be amazingly photogenic structure (only two days this year, May 10 and June 19th had good structure, that was it.) or tornadoes. I think I need to make a new rule, don't chase outside of 100 miles from home in July unless there's an unseasonably large trough. These zonal/ridge July days almost never work out. I'm getting better at not caring as much about tornadoes/storms I miss, yesterday was more of thinking there was good tornado potential. I'm just tired of wasting hundreds of dollars in gas for days that don't work out, thus I need to create this new rule. It doesn't help that I'm in Minnesota in the summer and that much closer to the Dakotas for them to tempt me, I've done a pretty good job up until yesterday at just staying home. Saturday was another day I should have just stayed home, had an outflow boundary drop south through the warm sector and wash out the warmfront before 11am and the atomsphere never recovered, yet I stupidly drove a few hundred miles basically chasing rain showers. Then there was yesterday where the NAM showed a really skinny "trough" or SW flow of 60kts over some nicely backed 40kt 850s. Looked good on paper, but things just are that much more unlikely to come together in July, vs. June. Ended up spending $100+ yesterday chasing some junk storms. I need to be done for the year, I can't afford to waste more money like that. Really looking forward to fall so there's nothing to even tempt. Finding it hard to get motivated to post any photos from this summer, most are these mediocre storms I don't care for. I'll probably put together a few accounts from this summer, with just random things. Focus now turns to night sky stuff I guess, the milkyway is in a great position in the sky at sunset. Lately I've been biking at night around town, and I've seen a half dozen really bright meteors, one was an incredible fireball complete with smoke trail, it was much brighter than Venus would have been. Considering a 2010-2011 DVD, but I'm running out of time this summer, as I go back to school in just 20 days. Really wish I could see a real aurora show while I'm still up here, but that looks bleak. Some bigger sunspots showing up today, hopefully they'll spark something. I know I say this all the time but I'll probably post some accounts soon lol. Maybe.
July 2, 2011: Finally got some Noctilucent clouds this morning! I've been watching for quite some time in the last two years for them, and they showed up last night and this morning, although I didn't catch them in time last night. Here's one from this morning. I'll be out watching for these every clear night for the next couple weeks, waiting for a big display. For those that don't know, NLCs are the most rare clouds on earth, they've only been sighted this far south a handful of times in recorded history! They are 50 miles above the earth and move at more than 400 mph! Also chased a couple big time bow echos yesterday, I'll post a lot more photos later, but here is a panorama from a storm northwest of Redwood Falls, Minnesota. June 28, 2011: Well chase season is pretty much over now, might get a few July days in, but not expecting anymore than 4-5 more chases before I'll head back to Nebraska for school. Fortunately I was in Nebraska for the only two big June days of the year. As much as it felt like it for the entire season, this year wasn't a complete failure, I nailed 3 big days and really June 20 made the entire season, then McCook and Mapleton made it that much better. Too bad I wasted $500 busting in North Dakota twice and Nebraska a couple days ago. And of course all the local crapper storms I stupidly went after. I've got a few accounts to work on still, Squaw creek from WAYYY back in March and then a Lake superior camping trip from a couple weeks ago. I'll have those up pretty soon. I've got everything nearly up to date on the Recent Images page, including the May 29 Aurora display.
June 23, 2011:Accounts from both the 19th and 20th are posted now with almost three dozen photos, you can find them at the 2011 chase page.
June 21, 2011: Well the entire year has been a big dud, until Sunday. Saw a pair of tornadoes and some of the most incredible structure I've ever seen after dark. Then Monday an tornado machine of a supercell put down at least four tornadoes and I documented 3 of them. I was 200 yards from a dusty stovepipe as it crossed highway 34. That tornado was just nuts, lasted 15 min or so. Got some awesome 10mm stills with the tornado nearly full frame!!! Here's a shot and the video for now, I'll post more soon.
font color="FF0000" size="4">May 31, 2011: Best thing that has happened in the last couple weeks was a quick show of Auroras. It wasn't a great display, but easily the best I've seen. I'll try to get an account posted tonight from them. Only lasted about 5 minutes. Heres one picture for now. Other news, my car is running well and I'll be ready for any upcoming chase, no matter the distance. That is, IF there is ever another chase opportunity. Extended models look extremely quiet. Could be the most boring year for chasing in the plains in over 10 years. I chased yesterday around the SD/ND/MN border, but a 14c 700mb cap prevented any storms from firing and staying discrete near the warmfront. 600 mile $90 chase for a 3 minute glimpse of a shelf cloud. Pretty much no lightning on the way home either, I think I saw one cloud to ground strike the entire 4 hour drive back. Then a couple days earlier I got a breif glimpse of a tornado real close to home... about 30 miles. I didn't know the funnel I was looking at had touched the ground though. I was too busy messing with the golfball hail to notice ground circulation, a line of trees below it didn't help either... But other than that absolutely boring spring. June looks terrible. Maybe a Montana day next week, thats really all I see at this point. Hopefully it ends up active but I doubt it.