Joy of Storm Hunting: A Dallas Observer Review

I love to share my photos and stories of wild weather as public presentations.

In 2011, the Dallas Observer did a wonderful review of one of my shows:

http://www.dallasobserver.com/arts/flashing-bulbs-and-bolts-the-joy-of-storm-hunting-by-stephen-levine-7094906

 

Driving Through Passionate Hail

On the morning of January 21st, I longingly looked at all the thunderstorm signatures across near east Texas on our radar.

It was a work day and though the storms were barely close enough to chase, it would not be in the cards for me to do this today.

During the late morning, elevated thunderstorms popped up out ahead of a vigorous trough, and brought me a delightful surprise.

Driving back to work from an appointment, first one, then several stones hit my car and bounced off the road.

You will hear the delight and surprise in my voice in the video.  The hail seemed to be composed of graupel clumps bunched together, so it was soft.  Stones to dime sized.

The thunderstorms I so yearned to chase came right to me. Yay!

 

A Mystical Storm Intercept and Surprise Hailstorm

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Thrilling rush of small hailstones tumble on my car.  Description below.

January 19, 2016:  Silvery Mountains of Majestic Beauty

Beholding Magic in the Heavens during night time chase:

Not long after dark, the cold front sweeps through dry, however just east of my location towering cumulus begin to blossom.

Immediately after arriving from my 40 minute drive back from work, I grab supplies and turn right around to give chase.

The system is moving rather fast, but my determined spirit and faithful vehicle takes me closer.

Flash!  the first lightning discharge of the night illuminates a huge chunk of majesty towering before me over the southeast horizon.

Nearly full moon peaking in and out of post frontal clouds illuminates a cauliflower bank of silvery mountains  careening ever heavenward into the black night time sky. It’s subtle and sublime; very mystical. More lightning tumbles as occasional distant bolts – I must reach this majestic beauty.

Nirvana- The Intercept:

Once I arrive, about 50 miles from home or 15 miles east of Terrell, Texas I gaze in awe at an amazing mix of silvery moonlit overcast mingled with pounding raindrops and occasional brilliant lightning flashes towards the distance.  The moon casts soft velvet hues through breaks in overcast as huge drops tumble on my car windshield.

The storm front swiftly moves on, and I exit my car to take in the quiet night. My spirit merges with the line of towering thunderheads hugging the horizon, and jumps with glee as occasional dazzling flashes illuminate thick rain curtains and squiggly lightning branches emerge from within.  Brilliant moon now makes an appearance and stiff southwest winds buffet my jacket.  I have arrived and truly feel at home.

January 21, 2016: What a Delightful Surprise!

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Hail stones up to dime sized splat on my window in a surprise  burst.  What joy I feel for this deliverance, as earlier in the morning juicy thunderstorms developed just east of us, and not possible to chase on this work day.

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Another shot of the tumbling hail. Notice the road turning white.

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Hail laying on parked cars. The stones seem to be composed of a conglomerate of graupel. The temperature is 39 degrees at the time of this storm.

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Hail up to dime sized laying at my feet.

Experienced in Richardson/Dallas, Texas during a drive back to work from a doctor appointment. Perfect timing  🙂