Pic of the Week: Storm on Highway 25
Location: South of Mankins, TX on Highway 25
Date taken: 4/19/16
I have had plenty of chase opportunities these past few weeks and even more are forecast for next week. With that said I am quickly starting to fall behind on my editing. I did not have a Pic of the Week ready for this post until yesterday (4/19). A friend of mine who is just starting out in photography accompanied me on a backyard storm chase. I actually had no intention of chasing this particular day. I did not have my batteries charged, I didn’t have my memory cards cleared, and I didn’t have my camera clean. I knew there might be storms this day, but the chance was low and I was more interested in saving my gas for next week.
Storms fired off to our southwest and began to move in our forecast area. Watching the radar, it seemed like the storms were holding together. “If I can leave as soon as I get off work I can run down to my apartment, grab my gear and make it to Seymour before sunset.”, I thought to myself. The minute I finished up at work I was out the door heading to my apartment. I called my friend Ian up to see if he wanted to go chasing with me. He happily accepted the invitation and agreed to meet me at my apartment. Once he arrived we were on the road to Seymour. The storm was starting to pick up speed and it was already touching Seymour by the time we reached highway 82. We didn’t have time to continue driving west and the storm was starting to take a south-easterly heading. I decided to drop south on Highway 25 when we reached Mankins, TX. This would put us in position to the storm, but we run the risk of letting it get away from us if we stay too long.
When we finally got to pull over and observe the storm I could tell it was really starting to get closer. After a few shots of some lighting over an impressive shelf cloud the heavy rains began to come and we bailed farther south. Getting back into position I could see the storm was starting to cross highway 25 about a mile from our location. I pulled over on the side of the road and found a shot I liked. I pulled out my camera and shot this image from the middle of the road on Highway 25. Luckily, there were very few cars out on the road so I was able to get a few nice images. While the storm was starting to blow itself out it was still a great scene. The bright yellow lines of the road lead the eye directly into the scene and into the ominous looking storm. This was my personal favorite of this series. We chased the storm until after dark and experienced some high winds (over 50mph) and large amounts of small to medium size hail in Windthorst, TX. Pea to half dollar size hail was piled up along the side of the roads and fog was floating just a few feet above the ground. All in all it ended up being a great backyard chase. I look forward to many more!