June 19th, 2011 - McCook, NE Tornado

June 19th, 2011
McCook, Nebraska Tornado day

Chased with:

The day started with a groovy haul out to extreme N/E Colorado.  Of course... I ended up driving from Milwaukee to my home state overnight.  (Well, I didn't drive, but the guys did.  They're driving machines!)  

We got on a little storm with some wicked pretty structure, but bailed out when we figured it wasn't going to produce a tornado.  Some other storms were going up in Nebraska and we wanted to get down to those, thinking they'd be the main show later.

Still, we got some really pretty shots of the Colorado cell.

We got down to Nebraska and up on our first cell.  It's always an exciting moment to be seven to twelve (or whatever) miles from the storm you want to jump on.  It's in the distance, and it's beckoning.  "Come get me!"

We got a little closer and it really had some fun and funky characteristics to it.  What a photogenic little thing.

We decided to move on down the way a bit, and ended up crossing paths with a woman who was struggling to get her dog back into her car.  We hung out and tried to lure the dog in with some beef jerky, some loving whistles and calls, but the dog was having none of it.  But I got my Locals Portrait #10.

Things actually started to look pretty interesting where we were hanging out waiting.  A bit of dust blow-up in the field behind us...

The guys (Skip, Jon and Adam left to right) waiting, looking at the sky and horizon...  This is a big part of chasing.  The waiting and watching.

Skip getting a few shots.

And then suddenly... what is that?  TORNADO!

A shot of me photographing the storm, courtesy of Skip Talbot:

Overall, we weren't terribly close to the tornado but it was high contrast and nifty.  We got some beautiful structure shots and it was a wonderful start to a great chase trip!

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