Storm Gust Front

Storm Chasing In The Ozarks

Storm chasing is something that I love to do. One of the more interesting aspects of moving back to Arkansas for me was storm chasing. I know most people hate storms, but I have always been fascinated with them since I was a child. Storm chasing has always been something I have enjoyed.

Yesterday Bill and I spent some time scoping out the perfect spot to hopefully let me get some lightning shots. We knew a line of strong thunderstorms were going to move into the area from Oklahoma. The weather app was lighting up with lightning, so it looked like conditions would be right for some good shots.

After driving to several places we finally chose a spot next to a pasture with a clear view to the south and west. This is the direction the storms were coming from. This is the interesting part of storm chasing: Being in the right place at the right time.

I have two cameras that can be outfitted with Lightning Bug camera triggers. Below is the Lightning Bug trigger and a link where you can purchase it if you have the desire to shoot lightning.

We watched the weather app as the lightning approached the 30 mile ring. We were also watching the rain bands moving across the hills in the distance. As they moved closer it seemed the wind was picking up, but there was nothing of concern at all.

Storm Gust Front

A few minutes later I spotted the wall of rain coming across the pasture. I grabbed the cameras and threw them into the back seat and we attempted to get the tripod legs retracted while the cold rain pounded us. That’s when the gust front hit and the wind was blowing probably close to 60 mph. The trees in the area were bent over and the SUV of mine was rocking.

At this point we were committed to sitting in place. Driving off would have been more treacherous than sitting where we were. This soon became apparent when a large limb snapped off of a tree right in front of us and landed in the road not ten feet from the car.

Neither of us thought to start filming when we got back inside the car because we were trying to dry off and were simply in awe of the power of the wind. However, right after the limb snapped and hit the road, Bill was able to begin filming. The video he shot is below.

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The video above shows the power of the wind as the storms moved through. Although I didn’t get any lighting shots we did get some excitement for the afternoon.

If you want to see more of my storm chase photos you can visit our Facebook page. You can see other photos and things we share that don’t make it to the blog.

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