Thursday, September 25, 2008

August 18 backyard storm chase

Finally got a quickie backyard chase in. Backyard meaning as not in the alley.

I was watching the squall line take form on radar as it was heading in a SE direction towards Listowel. I gave Uncle Dave a call after Dave Patrick sent a message that there was a nice shelf cloud with it (thanks Dave!), so we both agreed to give it a try for a photo opportunity. As I was waiting for him, I saw some nice mammatus above my house as the anvil's leading edge came overhead.

We left at 7:30 and planned to set up just outside of Elmira on hwy 85. A photogenic shelf cloud came into view already, although not as contrasty as some of them have been, but still quite nice. Then again, there was only about an hour or less of daylight left. We pulled off the road near a barn and took some nice photos. It was starting to come right overhead by now. There was not a lot of wind with it, which was a bit surprising. Maybe it is because I have the Kestrel and it is wind shy? In behind, there looked to be a fairly decent core. There were some white bands which indicated a hail and rain downpour. I then saw a weird looking small roundish looking cloud, almost resembling a meso, but it was too small and didn't last longer than a couple minutes.

After the shelf cloud went overhead, I saw what looked like a low contrast funnel cloud in behind. I watched it closely for a few seconds but it disinigrated. Just a scud bomb. We felt the rain drops starting to fall and the outflow was starting to blow so we decided to bail the storm. On the way back into Waterloo, the shelf cloud was losing its well defined edge and seemed to be weakening, but the mammatus was still there. I guess we got this storm just in time! Got home close to 8:30 and not even 20 km driven! Gotta love those backyard chases sometimes... just a very simple chase with nice photos to boot.

Got home in time for the downpour of rain and intense lightning.

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