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

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April 14, 2013:
Tornado-warned Florida storms

April 14, 2013: I decided to chase a decent chance of severe storms in central Florida this day, with at least the hope of testing my storm-chasing gear. That still needs work - and the first part of the chase was frustrating. The second was fueled with adrenaline as a tornado-warned storm approached my neighborhood. Here's the National Weather Service damage report; now the NWS says there were likely two tornadoes, including one in Cocoa produced by the storm that spawned what I think was a funnel in my photographs. Share

I gave the Midland USA XTC-300 wearable camera a tryout during the storm-chase in central Florida on Sunday, in preparation for using it in Tornado Alley. In this short video, time-lapsed in editing, it was attached to my car with a suction-cup mount and stood up to highway speeds and rain. Video by Chris Kridler; music licensed from FootageFirm; camera courtesy Midland USA.

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I started the chase on April 14, 2013, with the intention of trying out my chasing setup and, I hoped, catching some storms. This was looking north from Bithlo, Florida. Photo by Chris Kridler,,

I found myself on a lot of back roads, and for a storm chaser, this intersection seemed promising. Photo by Chris Kridler,,

A view at Lake Jessup let me see the storms that had gotten away. Photo by Chris Kridler,,

Another shot from Lake Jessup. Meanwhile, storms were starting to fire southwest of me. I opted to head back home. Photo by Chris Kridler,,

A tornado-warned storm approached my town, Rockledge, and I went out to see if I could grab some lightning shots. Photo by Chris Kridler,,

Here's where things got interesting. The storm had obvious rotation on radar and a pronounced hook as it approached my location. Image courtesy RadarScope app

A very interesting base became visible on the tornado-warned storm. Photo by Chris Kridler,,

At this point, a white shape makes itself known behind the power poles on the right. I'm not saying it was anything - but look at the following pictures. Photo by Chris Kridler,,

Another shot with the persistent white feature - scud or funnel? Photo by Chris Kridler,,

Here it is again. Keep in mind this was a 20-second exposure, so the edges look soft. Photo by Chris Kridler,,

A 24-second exposure. Photo by Chris Kridler,,

The cloud feature is pushing east over a moving train. Photo by Chris Kridler,,

A 22-second exposure makes everything look diffuse. Photo by Chris Kridler,,

If I were to say it looked like a funnel in any of these frames, it would be this one; a 14.4-second exposure. Weird "bubble" in lower right is a raindrop on the lens. Photo by Chris Kridler,,

It's moving overhead now. Photo by Chris Kridler,,

I made another attempt to grab lightning over the Indian River Lagoon at Cocoa, then let the circulation of a second tornado-warned storm overtake me in Cocoa Beach. Photo by Chris Kridler,,

2013 reports and photos | blog | main gallery page

All photos copyright 2013 by Chris Kridler,,