Chris Kridler's Sky Diary: storm chasing, photography and rainy-day tales

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storm gallery: May 16, 2000

To see a larger version of a photo, just click on its thumbnail image below. Then, to get back to this page, hit the "back" button on your browser. Photos noted as taken from video were shot with a digital video camera.

Dave Lewison and I targeted the Nebraska panhandle on May 16, 2000, for its favorable shear, decent dewpoints (for the high elevation) and the position of the low just southwest of it. We ended up heading all the way into Wyoming to chase a storm with a huge anvil. These wall clouds were our first look at the base. Image from video. One of the wall clouds appeared to form a very fat funnel. We lost sight of the bottom as we navigated the valley around Guernsey, Wyoming, but didn't see it touch down. Image from video.

Now the fat funnel really looks like a big tornado. Because the hills obscured our view of the ground, we can't say it was, though some chasers said they saw dust under the funnel. Image from video. The storm produces a skinny funnel in a backlit sky. Image from video.

The skinny funnel seems well on its way to producing a tornado. Image from video. Then, just as it appears to rope out, it also appears to touch down. Image from video.

Here's the same sequence, but shot at a wider angle with a still camera. Images from slides.

Dramatic rain bands are lit by the setting sun as a new mesocyclone appears in the foreground (it's more obvious on video!). Image from video. The storm tries to get its act together again with a new wall cloud. I didn't have time to look at it long, because the storm beaned me on the head with a hailstone (not serious, just surprising!). Image from video.

Several trains were creeping along as the storm roiled above. Here, the sunset touches one with fiery red color. Image from slide. The storm and the sunset painted the sky with magnificent colors. The night ended with quite a lightning show. Image from slide.

Links to 2000 chase images:

  • April 15-16: Storms and lightning spark the skies over the Space Coast in Florida
  • May 9-11: The Plains chase begins, and a beast of a storm produces damaging tornadoes in Iowa
  • May 12-13: Mushy storms in Illinois are heavy with warnings and hot with lightning; plus an eerie sunset
  • May 16: A storm in eastern Wyoming produces picturesque funnels and a quick tornado
  • May 17-24: A smorgasbord of storms, including a beautiful little bomb in Arkansas
  • May 25-27: Panhandle lightning, a shear funnel, and an amazing white funnel in Texas that really wanted to be a tornado
  • May 29-June 2: A gorgeous, weird storm in Nebraska and a dust storm that blew away a greenhouse in Goodland, Kansas
  • June 24-July 29: Spectacular lightning storms and gust fronts sweep through Florida
  • August 5-20: An ocean rainbow and a trip to the Florida Keys for a waterspout and glorious skies
  • August 25: A night of brilliant lightning in three different locations
  • August 26: A chase across Florida, from Vero Beach to Sarasota, through lots of hot bolts
  • September 4-26: Nifty lightning and a chase of marginal Hurricane Gordon

go to the main gallery page | go to storm chasers
go to reports from 2001, 2000, 1999, 1998, 1997