Almost Here And It's Time To Go

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

The severe storm cell was just under five minutes away when I made my final shots of it at this location on North Marion Road, just north of County Home Road, north of Marion, Iowa on Thursday, June 15, 2017. Time was 8:24 pm CDT. This image features a small cloud rotation at left, a strong downdraft at background right and a thin shelf cloud at foreground right-center.

A closer view of the top image, looking NW. The strong downdraft in the background was vigorously spreading out on the ground upon contact.

8:25 pm. Panoramic image. Small vortices, dipping and disappearing, can be seen under the rotation area at left. Also visible at left is my vehicle. Most if not all of the lightning was of the CC variety, so I was able to venture a considerable distance from the safety of my car.

8:27 pm. With the storm's arrival at any moment, I was not about to be caught in it here, and my plan was to escape south to another position closer to home and remain there until it blew over me. I hopped into my car and paused at the intersection of North Marion Road with County Home Road. Looking back through my open window, a saw one final great photo op and jumped out with my driver's side door wide open, to capture a sequence of pictures in which this panorama was made from. Nikon D7200 DSLR camera.


Come A Little Bit Closer...

Monday, June 26, 2017

This approaching severe storm cell was advancing quickly and was about 7 or 8 minutes away when I captured this panoramic image of it on North Marion Road, just .1-mile north of County Home Road, north of Marion, Iowa. Time and date were 8:20 pm CDT, Thursday, June 15, 2017. The image looks NNW.

A minute later and even closer. The wall cloud has begun to take on a ragged look.

Same time as above and I again turned my attention to this area of the sky (north), as I was very wary of what was going on along the horizon (at center of image).

8:22 pm. Storm in NNW sky was now about 5 or 6 minutes away. North Marion Road leads off into the distance in this image. Nikon D7200 DSLR camera.

Radar image capture corresponding closely to the photo above it. The target icon is my position, with the arrow pointing to the most intense area of the approaching storm.


June 15 Severe Cell Closing In

Sunday, June 25, 2017

These four posted images range in time from 8:14 pm-8:18 pm CDT, on Thursday, June 15, 2017 and are located at Ross Veterinary Clinic on North Marion Road, just north of County Home Road and Marion, Iowa. The image above looks northwest at the approaching storm (and my vehicle) at 8:14 pm, with the most intense area only about five miles away.

Zoomed-in shot at 8:17 pm. Note the rain shafts at left. Storm is about 4 miles distant now. I tried to keep a lower profile from lightning as I hurried to and from my vehicle to get these captures, but most, if not all the lightning was the CC variety.

8:18 pm. A more westerly view. Rotating cloud base (left) and rain shafts are brilliantly backlit by the setting sun.

8:18 pm. Looking northwest again. Lowering in background is 4 miles or less and closing. Nikon D7200 DSLR camera.


Menacing But Distant

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Resembling a snow-peaked mountain, this severe storm cell was seen at 8:49 PM CDT, Thursday, June 22, 2017 from the big hill at Bowman Woods Park in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The storm was about 92 miles to the northwest, just NE of Hampton, Iowa in Franklin County.

9:07 pm, and about 10 miles farther east. With sunset occurring at 8:45 this evening, frequent flashes of lightning within the cell had become more apparent.

Radar captures corresponding closely to the 9:07 image. My positions are indicated by the target icons, with the arrows pointing to the severe storm cell.

Zoomed-in view at 9:11 pm. Most intense area is now about 14 miles NW of Parkersburg, Iowa, and about 80 miles from my location. A separate and strengthening storm cell originating south of Marshalltown, Iowa around 9:00 pm would reach Cedar Rapids about two hours later. Nikon D7200 DSLR camera.


June 15 Spinup?

Thursday, June 22, 2017

I was firmly entrenched in my spotting position at Ross Veterinary Clinic on North Marion Road, just north of County Home Road and north of Marion, Iowa as the severe storm cell approached on Thursday evening, June 15, 2017. Suspicious ground activity at 8:13 pm CDT behind the farmstead in the distance (above) instantly caught my eye as a possible weak spinup as it sported a very tight funnel-like appearance.

A cropped-in version of the top image. Image looks north. The funnel resides in a rain-wrapped area.

8:14 pm. Still keeping a wary eye on this area. Storm was moving from upper left to lower right in the image. Nikon D7200 DSLR camera.

Radar image corresponding to 8:10 pm. The target icon is my position, with the arrow pointing to the area of interest.


In Position For The Storm

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Now finally well south of the approaching storm on Thursday evening, June 15, 2017, I chose one of my favorite spotting locations. The location was at the Ross Veterinary Clinic on North Marion Road, about .1-mile north of County Home Road, north of Marion, Iowa. This spot afforded an unobstructed view in all directions, and was only about four miles from home. At 8:00 pm CDT, the approaching severe cell was showing an energetic structure as seen in the image above. The most intense part of this cell was located about 18 miles distant, near the town of Walker in Linn County. On the storm's western flank was a small wall cloud, which can be seen along the horizon at left center.

Another view of the approaching storm, captured about 5 minutes later. The setting sun combined with the southeast track of the storm provided a brilliantly lit horizon to the west. Nikon D7200 DSLR camera.

Radar capture from 8:00 pm. The target icon at lower right shows my position with the white arrow pointing in the direction seen in the two photographs above. The black arrows show storm movement.


A Quick Stop For A Photo Op On Way Home

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Realizing I was too far north to stay ahead of the leading edge of the severe storm with its movement now to the southeast, I retreated south along Highway 13 in Eastern Iowa on the evening of Thursday, June 15, 2017. Maintaining a safe distance ahead of it, I was able to pull off on several side roads to capture brief photo opportunities. Above, the (left) image looks west from Railview Road near Paris Road, about a quarter-mile west of Highway 13 and about 2.2 miles north of Central City in northeastern Linn County at 7:32 pm CDT. Nikon D7200 DSLR camera. The right panel shown above is a radar capture of the moment, with the white arrow pointing in the direction of the camera's view from my position.


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