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May 26, 2013:
Nebraska tornado-warned supercell and lightning

May 26, 2013: I chased today with Greg Stephens, Dayna Vettese and Brad Rousseau, Bill Hark, and Robert Balogh. We started the day in North Platte, Nebraska, dropped south to McCook and then headed back up to North Platte, hoping storms would fire along the dryline push. There was a high risk of a blue-sky bust, but just when we were about to give up, a couple of storms exploded. The one I chose became an incredibly beautiful low-precipitation, sculpted supercell, with a fantastic lightning show after dark. Share

A storm in central Nebraska shows beautiful structure and amazing lightning. This video includes several time-lapses and was shot with Sony, Panasonic, Midland XTC and Nikon cameras. Music licensed from FootageFirm. Video by Chris Kridler.

Click on the thumbnails to see a larger image.

    We went south from North Platte to McCook, then came back north, keeping an eye on the cumulus clouds. Photo by Chris Kridler, ChrisKridler.com, SkyDiary.com
    The clouds started to disappear from the satellite, but we retained slim hopes given the huge instability. Photo by Chris Kridler, ChrisKridler.com, SkyDiary.com
    North of North Platte, we were almost ready to call it a day when we heard about towers going up to the north. In addition, tiny, ambitious clouds had appeared on the satellite image to our southeast. Photo by Chris Kridler, ChrisKridler.com, SkyDiary.com
    We headed north to see towers trying to organize. This one near Dunning was sucking in moisture at all levels. Photo by Chris Kridler, ChrisKridler.com, SkyDiary.com
    I could tell something was up with this storm, but by now, the storm to our southeast looked enticing. I almost stayed with this one, but headed south. Photo by Chris Kridler, ChrisKridler.com, SkyDiary.com
    The storm exploded behind me - this was my last look at it. It became tornado-warned. Photo by Chris Kridler, ChrisKridler.com, SkyDiary.com
    Yet this was in front of me - a gorgeous, rapidly convecting supercell-in-progress. Photo by Chris Kridler, ChrisKridler.com, SkyDiary.com
    What a gorgeous anvil on this growing storm! Photo by Chris Kridler, ChrisKridler.com, SkyDiary.com
    Approaching from the west, I got a great view of its convection, rotation and a rainbow. Photo by Chris Kridler, ChrisKridler.com, SkyDiary.com
    This is the road I always want to be on! Inflow features made the storm even more interesting. Photo by Chris Kridler, ChrisKridler.com, SkyDiary.com
    I found a little melting hail but avoided the core and hung back. Photo by Chris Kridler, ChrisKridler.com, SkyDiary.com
    East of Broken Bow, the storm rotated madly. Photo by Chris Kridler, ChrisKridler.com, SkyDiary.com
    The storm's structure evolved. Photo by Chris Kridler, ChrisKridler.com, SkyDiary.com
    It remained a low-precipitation supercell - not likely to produce a tornado, though it became tornado-warned. Photo by Chris Kridler, ChrisKridler.com, SkyDiary.com
    Great, hard convection pushed up into the anvil. Photo by Chris Kridler, ChrisKridler.com, SkyDiary.com
    I had to stop at this pretty little shack and get a shot of the cell looming behind it. Photo by Chris Kridler, ChrisKridler.com, SkyDiary.com
    At this point, it was rotating hard. Photo by Chris Kridler, ChrisKridler.com, SkyDiary.com
    The lightning was intense. I was concerned for the safety of the zillion storm chasers on the storm, some of whom were driving like idiots. Photo by Chris Kridler, ChrisKridler.com, SkyDiary.com
    Here comes the UFO! Photo by Chris Kridler, ChrisKridler.com, SkyDiary.com
    What a pretty storm. I wish I could have been far back and close up all at once. Photo by Chris Kridler, ChrisKridler.com, SkyDiary.com
    The lightning show was incredible after dark. Photo by Chris Kridler, ChrisKridler.com, SkyDiary.com
    A slow shutter speed adds blur to the spinning storm. Photo by Chris Kridler, ChrisKridler.com, SkyDiary.com
    So many bolts shot out of the tower. Photo by Chris Kridler, ChrisKridler.com, SkyDiary.com
    The show just got better as darkness fell. Photo by Chris Kridler, ChrisKridler.com, SkyDiary.com
    Oh, it gets better. Photo by Chris Kridler, ChrisKridler.com, SkyDiary.com
    On any other storm, this would have been the best shot - but this thing wouldn't quit. Photo by Chris Kridler, ChrisKridler.com, SkyDiary.com
    I loved the intricacy of the bolts. Photo by Chris Kridler, ChrisKridler.com, SkyDiary.com
    This is one of my favorite shots of the night. Photo by Chris Kridler, ChrisKridler.com, SkyDiary.com
    You can see the beautiful mammatus field in the anvil of the storm. Photo by Chris Kridler, ChrisKridler.com, SkyDiary.com
    Lightning spit out of all sides of the tower. Photo by Chris Kridler, ChrisKridler.com, SkyDiary.com
    And it's still going! Photo by Chris Kridler, ChrisKridler.com, SkyDiary.com
    Another one shows the structure and mammatus. Amazing. Photo by Chris Kridler, ChrisKridler.com, SkyDiary.com
    Zap! Love these crawlers. Photo by Chris Kridler, ChrisKridler.com, SkyDiary.com
    Again, any other day, this would be one of the best - but this kind of shot was routine with this storm. Photo by Chris Kridler, ChrisKridler.com, SkyDiary.com
    The mammatus was beautifully lit by the lightning. Photo by Chris Kridler, ChrisKridler.com, SkyDiary.com
    What a gorgeous structure on this storm. Photo by Chris Kridler, ChrisKridler.com, SkyDiary.com
    A sea of mammatus clouds surrounded the tower. Photo by Chris Kridler, ChrisKridler.com, SkyDiary.com
    More amazing mammatus! Photo by Chris Kridler, ChrisKridler.com, SkyDiary.com
    Wow, what fabulous mammatus clouds. Photo by Chris Kridler, ChrisKridler.com, SkyDiary.com
    And another shot showing the mammatus. Photo by Chris Kridler, ChrisKridler.com, SkyDiary.com
    Lots of old friends! We gathered again in Kearney, Nebraska. Photo by Chris Kridler, ChrisKridler.com, SkyDiary.com


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All photos copyright 2013 by Chris Kridler, ChrisKridler.com, SkyDiary.com