An evening of storm chasing in Alberta

storm chaser, supercell, tornado, bad weather, storms, clouds, Alberta, prairie, horizontal, landscape, Dan jurak,

Those who are hardcore weather chasers had been predicting extreme weather central Alberta this past weekend.

We had been having a few days in the high 20’s Celsius to close to 30 Celsius and with a cold and damp front moving in from the west the result might, just might result in severe storms.

That weather usually passes closer to Red Deer which is a couple of hours drive south of me. What was unusual was that it was all supposed to happen just a half an hour or more east of where I live.

Friday the predicted foul weather never appeared. On Saturday morning I awoke to clear skies at 5:00 am and warm temperatures. Because our dog doesn’t like the hot weather I took him for or regular hour long walk and returned not being sure if the weather would turn foul.

Then around noonish the skies became uniformly grey and the air was feeling heavy and humid.

The latest forecasts were predicting storms by 6:00 pm that day and at least a couple of hours east of me. I keenly watched a Facebook group for severe weather chasers and started seeing pics of rain, grey clouds, etc. but nothing too impressive.

Closer to six the good pics had started appearing and there was even a tornado warming for a small town two and a half hours away from me. The weather was in fact moving AWAY from where I lived.  If I were to start driving out there, I figured that I would miss it. Meh.

Laziness got the better part of me and the fact that there was a UFC preliminary fight on that evening was all the more reason to stay at home.

Out of curiosity I checked the weather radar app on my iMac and to my amazement saw that there were BIG storm clouds west of me and not too far at that.

Putting the VCR on record I grabbed my stuff and headed north west. As I drove I kept my eye on the west and could vaguely see a large cloud. It didn’t look special but I kept driving mainly north and a bit westerly.

I was probably forty five minutes from home and then the cloud started to take shape. If I could get to the front of it I thought I might see the shelf that was probably at that end.

When things started to look good I pulled over and snapped a few pics. Nothing great but looking west the shelf I had been hoping for suddenly appeared. In the Rav and hightailing it across gravel roads as I got closer and closer to this great looking cloud formation.

I continued taking pics, moving on, stopping and taking more pics for about twenty minutes before the storm broke up and I gave up.

Less than an hour later I was home and realized that in my haste I had set the PVR to the wrong channel. LOL Oh well, the results would be on the internet in the morning so I headed to bed looking forward to the rain that was predicted for the following day.

Happy shooting,



~ by Dan Jurak on June 10, 2018.

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