Storm season is beginning in the Ozarks. That means that the storm chase season is beginning for us too. Although you can see thunderstorm activity at any time of the year, spring is typically the most active season for severe weather in the Ozarks.
Storms have fascinated me for as far back as I can remember. I can remember as a child on the farm I would constantly get in trouble for standing on the porch trying to get a better view of thunderstorms. I read every book I could find on the weather and how thunderstorms develop. I got into photography after that. Eventually, the two interests came together and now I get out every chance I get to photograph storms and the lightning they produce.
I believe my favorite piece of addon camera gear are the two lightning triggers I bought for my cameras. The triggers fire the shutter when they detect the infrared pulse from a lightning bolt. Without getting too technical, the infrared pulse arrives slightly before the visible light that you see. This triggers the camera to take a photo. They have allowed me to capture some amazing shots while I am safely sheltered from being struck by lightning.
We decided this year to bring you weekly updates on the chases as they happen throughout the season. This is our first update of the year. And the first two weeks of March may have already given us an indication of what the season will be like.
The second day of March was the first storm chase of the year. Maybe not so much a storm chase because I was actually already on the back side of the storm when it blew up on radar. So I decided to set up beside the lake and shoot a time-lapse of the storm.
This storm continued moving east and dropped ping pong ball sized hail after it passed by our location. It even spawned a tornado later in eastern Missouri.
Below is the view from the other camera I set up. It captured a time-lapse of the clouds at sunset after that storm had moved out of the area.
On March 12 we had a thunderstorm to blow up almost right on top of us. After it passed and the rain stopped I set up a camera to capture a line of storms blowing up southeast of our location. These storms later dropped a reported tornado near Ash Flat, Arkansas.
From the forecast, it looks like the middle of next week there is the possibility of storms again. If it happens we’ll definitely be out trying to get some shots of the action.
If you have any comments or suggestions please feel free to leave them below. If you’d like to try your hand at capturing lightning photos you can get the same camera trigger I use right here. Just be sure and always stay safe.