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

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The Storm Seekers Series, novels about storm chasers by Chris Kridler

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storm gallery: May 17-24, 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.

The day after we saw the pretty Wyoming tornado, Dave Lewison and I joined up with Jay Antle to target western Nebraska on May 17, 2000. It was one of the most painful chases of the year, as we tried to play a storm south of the one that formed north of the low and produced impressive tornadoes. Here's the base of the storm that we should have shot north of. Image from video. More scenes from the bust from hell: Jay is silhouetted against the sky, which is filled with dying storms. Image from slide.

Later that day, we saw a spectacular gust-out as a storm violently died in southern Nebraska. Image from video.

As we headed south toward a line of storms in north Texas the next day, these lovely mammatus clouds in the east stopped us. Image from slide. The western sky also glowed in hot pink colors. Image from slide.

The day after that, May 19, we saw some silvery mammatus clouds near Brownwood, Texas. Image from slide. Then a gorgeous double rainbow near Brownwood, Texas, caught our attention. It was incredibly vivid and long-lasting. Image from slide.

Here's another view of the double rainbow. Image from slide. A chase of some marginal storms the next night, May 20, took us from the Texas panhandle into Oklahoma amid some great lightning. Image from slide.

The bolts just kept on coming! Images from slides.

May 22, some chasers were hanging out at the Guest Inn in Norman, Okla., checking out data and realizing that northeast Oklahoma was ripe for storms. Dave rode with George Kourounis, I drove my car, and Richard Bedard (author of "In the Shadow of the Tornado") joined our caravan. We saw this bomb go up with multiple overshooting tops. Image from video. The problem was, the May 22 storm was SCREAMING southeast. We never caught it, though we were hearing tantalizing tornado warnings and hail reports as it headed into Arkansas. Richard headed north to see what he could see; Dave, George and I continued east in hopes that a tower to the west of the big storm would break the cap. Here you see some hard convection. Image from video.

This gorgeous storm was the result. East of Fort Smith, Arkansas, we ran into chasers Scott Blair and Jason Politte, as well as Florida chasers David O. Stillings ("The Lightning Stalker") and Jason Persoff. Image from video. Here's a similar, later view of the cell, but taken with a still camera. Image from slide.

Here's the edge of the anvil at sunset, which is about the time the May 22 storm started dying. Image from video. I was chasing on my own May 24. I had an appointment in Goodland, Kansas, and didn't head south to my target area in the Oklahoma panhandle until mid-afternoon. I looked at a satellite image in Cimarron, Kansas, and saw two little puffs of white that looked interesting. By the time I'd fueled up, I looked up to see two impressive storms. Check out the dome on this updraft. Image from video.

Unfortunately, I picked the storm that, although obviously powerful, went HP (high-precipitation). The LP storm south of it, which I couldn't see, attracted a lot more chasers. Image from video. West of the storm after some messy core-punching, the sky offered a rainbow. Image from video.

Here's a closer look at the rainbow. Image from slide. The sky was dramatic behind the storm, too. Image from video.

The sunset May 24 lit up the storm's anvil, backlighting a windmill. Image from slide. The view to the west was gorgeous, too. 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