Pic of the Week 4/9/21
“White Deer Monster”
Location: White Deer, TX
Date taken: 4/11/15
White Deer, TX Monster © Ben Jacobi
I have to apologize for the lackadaisical approach I have been taking towards my blog lately. I started out the year with high hopes of keeping consistent with my blog entries, but sadly things always seem to get in the way. Wedding planning and preparations and other obligations have kept me remarkably busy over the past several weekends. I’ve discovered that if I’m not getting out, I’m not gonna be inspired and things are going to slip through the cracks. There was brief optimism with the approach a few storm systems, but nothing came from it which was disheartening. Now the blog has been ignored for over a month and for that I am sorry. I wish I had new images to share with you all, but right now things are tight and I’m asking you to bear with me. Soon I should have some new photos to share with you.
This week’s Pic of the Week was from one of my better storm chase years, 2015. During this year I had 20+ storm events and even got to photograph two tornadoes. One of those I have already talked about in a previous blog post. The other one was murky, and I didn’t really get a “website worthy” shot of it. But this chase did provide with the opportunity to photograph a stunning supercell in the remote areas of the Texas panhandle, which in my opinion is always a good day.
I left work at 2:30pm and drove towards Amarillo. It is almost a 4hr drive from Wichita Falls and I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it before the storms started firing. While driving to the target area, I made the decision to move just a little bit further north towards Fritch, TX. When I reached the outskirts of Lake Meredith a supercell had formed and was now tornado warned. I watched as the turnoff sign for the “Alibates Flint National Monument and Historic Site” whizz by my driver side window. This is an area I have always wanted to visit, but I would have to save it for another time.
The next few hours I did all the typical storm chasing stuff: driving, navigating frustrating road networks, hopping out of the vehicle to capture a few photos/videos, more driving, avoid hitting native wildlife, circumventing hail cores, contemplating the whole reason I was even out there, waiting for the good light, and of course more driving. Eventually, I reached the edge of White Deer, TX. The storm had now evolved into a monstrous high-precipitation supercell with a surging southeasterly inflow wind. I found an empty field to pull into and watch as the storm approached. In the distance I could see wind farms being devoured by the core of this storm. I had the updraft/mesocyclone in full view, and it took a very wide-angle lens (about 18mm) to capture the whole storm in the image. I spent the next few hours watching the storm churn and trudge its way through town before I had to let it go and begin the drive back home. If you want to see more on this chase I have a video on my YouTube channel here. And speaking of severe weather, I did an interview with our local news station about my experience chasing and photographing storms. You can find that on their website.