Wall Cloud and Lightning Love

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Lightning bolt zips out of massive rotating wall cloud; captured in NW Kansas on June 4th.

My  awe struck scientist and gleeful inner child together partied it up during this magnificent display of God’s creative forces.

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It’s 4:30 p.m.  and we take off after this amazing supercell thunderhead, as it explodes with pure wildness off to the northwest. In fact, at this time, baseball sized hail is falling in Denton, TX; about 50 miles from our position.  The storm is growing slowly southeastward, while moving off towards the northeast.

My objective is to take us to the outer edge of this wild celestial being; out of the hail yet close enough to behold its structure and any lightning darting within.

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Here we are in McKinney, TX just south of this system. It’s producing a really nice shelf cloud, while new development blossoms at its western end. The white mist just right of center photo is golf ball hail falling in the distance.

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We follow this storm eastward, then let it pass onwards as it continues to blossom in our east and northeast with awesome beauty.

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Eyes turn westward towards another severe warned supercell. As our chase begins, a “severe” warning turns to “tornado” warning, and my thrill, joy and adrenaline swiftly elevates.

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Closing in on the storm; our location on TX 380 west, between McKinney and Denton. Off to the right of the highway, a wall cloud begins to unfold.

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This wall cloud unfolds near the town of Prosper, TX and prompts a tornado warning.  Nothing emerges from this cloud, though it puts on a spectacular show, and the town is spared.

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As evening progresses, a new storm rolls eastward towards our location on TX 380. I savor the beautiful sky and lightning bolts darting towards earth within the precipitation shield.Wall Cloud Coming-inet

A new wall cloud develops west of us, just left of the highway.Into the Hail-inet

I decide to check out this storm and meet it halfway. This strangely colored photo is real; colors untouched. Sheets upon sheets of wind whipped hail, rain and wind pummel the car from left to right.  The hail sometimes falls nickel sized.  As it continues to intensify, I turn us around to avoid potential hail even bigger sized.

What an exciting chase this is! Storms last well into the night; meanwhile back home only a trace of rain falls the entire evening.

Photos and article copyright, Stephen Eric Levine.  Facebook page, Stephen Levine, Author and Photographer.