Round 1 – AM MN Bow Echo/Derecho
The day started a little after 4am when the Storm Prediction Center issued a severe thunderstorm watch for the ongoing bow echo/derecho. I hit the snooze button, the fired up Nexrad, went back to sleep. The first severe warning that registered was for a one county West a little after 6am. I fired up Nexrad and watched, got up, packed for work, watched some more, a tornado warning for a book end vortex on the northern extent of the bow structure was issued around 7:30 (will look up exact times later), followed by the Southern extent maybe an hour later. I listened to the active Skywarn net’s on the way to work. A roll cloud presented itself that spanned the horizon, quite nice, I hit a 7 story parking structure, when I went in on the bottom it was perfectly rounded shaped, by the time I reached the top overlooking Normandale Lake it had stopped rolling and was ragged and shelfy disappearing into the horizon. Anyhow the bow echo graduated to a derecho and petered out just inside of Indiana.
Round 2 – PM Iowa
I left work at 4:30 it’s a bit difficult to escape the confines of the city any later stopping at home for 10 minutes, I headed for Iowa via Albert Lea to Austin (‘SPAM Town USA’ not the e-mail kind, home of the Spam Museum long story but, over the weekend a few of us had a Spam craving, someone had mentioned it just in the last month or this past weekend), to the Waverly, IA area and points West. Some nice towering cumulus in the distance at times but, they had difficulties getting going. MD #1982 was issued just as I was approaching the now stationary boundary, no watch was ever issued. Met up with Rich Gudmunsen, Randy Nelson, and Dean Barron via Radio then stalked and met Tim Purington for the first time in person and Andy Gabrilson who I might have met before. Anyways some regular cycling of the same few systems occurred I was able to get a look at the 3 that were trying but, just a bit too capped. Between cells I took a bunch of photos of Alison, IA my daughters name (but, they spelled it wrong with 2 L’s, no matter, Photoshop, I can fix it). I took photos of the Alison welcome sign, Alison water tower, Alison post office, Alison hardware store, etc. I have not had the opportunity to go through photos video yet except for the sunset!
Last chase of July 2008. On a slightly downer note I passed by the Owatonna airport where a private jet had crashed shortly after the morning’s storm had gone thru. 8 people lost their lives. While I did’nt stop quite a few news crews and vehicles were parked at the airport on the way down, on the way back I could have sworn thier was stadium lighting around a section of corn field on the other side of I-35 (maybe it was a stadium?).
Wisconsin is off limits most of the year due to the trees. On my way home from work the towering Cu was irresistible along with the slow moving system. At the time they were isolated cells moving around 15 kts well over an hour away some towers peaking into the 47.5Kft range, the were moving East, and I kind of just wanted to get a couple hours closer. I also figured a great day to introduce the kids to chasing. We left at 6:30 taking our time eating dinner. We headed East on I-94 making it as far as Wood County, several crisp isolated updrafts still existed as we first left Minnesota but, they soon collapsed, as a line developed SW towards La Crosse with some infrequent cycling in intensity and updrafts along the line, along with further collapses. We made it as far as Osseo where I stepped out and took a few shots of what was remaining around sunset with much of the remnants illuminated in a reddish/pink sunset. We then grabbed some gas and figured I would bribe the kids with some sit down food, I have the choice between a dinner (steak whatever, we had already had dinner) or DQ and they went for the DQ option, then briefly watched the lightning in the distance after sunset. We returned around 11pm having driven around 237 miles round trip.
Interestingly my daughters first comment as we made it into Wisconsin was ‘their sure are allot of trees, It makes it difficult to see the clouds’.
One of my favorite places, Khan’s, on the NorthEast corner of 494 and Portland a Mongolian BBQ. I wanted to try out CHDK’s exposure bracketing features on my tiny deck of cards sized SD1000 for use with HDR. I shot 3 sequential images in aperture priority mode with 2 stops bracketing and processed for HDR.
From here additional adjustments would be made in photoshop.
Last night I hit a tutorial presented by Sean Foreman sponsored by the Minneapolis Photographic Society, one of the topics discussed was HDR amongst other topics of interest. I have over the years shot some HDR material but, I shot 10 or so buildings over a 20 minute period with a Rebel XT to put some of the HDR training to use while it was still somewhat fresh. I have CHDK on my SD1000 so I need to try out exposure bracketing on the little point and shoot, that would be pretty cool to have in a 3 ounce camera do bracketed shots for HDR.
1st Try, Norman Pointe, in the large version details within parking structure levels are evident yet nothings blown out yet, I spent a bit too much time editing and a few flaws are evident (well I know where they are) that kind of bug me. Deciding on the final level of realism versus cartoonishnish was a bit difficult so I saved the un-flattened photoshop.