Wednesday afternoon and evening saw some very strong to severe storms develop across parts of East Texas. I decided to head to the lookout off highway 69 north of Jacksonville in Cherokee County to watch a developing storm move west. The visibility was good from the high elevation looking east at the developing storm. The storm which later became severe formed on top of two intersecting outflow boundaries from earlier morning storms. This allowed for some rotation in the lower levels of the storm producing the funnel cloud you see in the photo below.
I took around 300 photos of this storm alone trying to catch a daytime lightning strike, not one. Trust me, there was plenty of lightning, I just need to work on my reflexes. This storm eventually moved into Anderson County and was showing signs of a huge hail core. Thankfully not too much in the way of large hail was reported, doesn’t mean it did not fall somewhere.
I drove north to the Bullard First Baptist Church and tried my luck at a few lightning shots. Once again I was unsuccessful but I did catch an amazing shot. The photo below is of a developing storm west of the church as the sun sets behind it. Notice the crepuscular rays streaming across the top of the storm, beautiful.
Once the sun set the atmosphere released the last bit of instability with a dramatic lightning display over southwestern Smith County and eastern Henderson County. This display of lightning was one of the best I have seen in years. Of course with my luck, I did not have a good view of the storm from my house so I had to get in the car and drive to where I had good visibility. Unfortunately for me, the best lightning shot I have seen from last night was not from my camera. Tim Ogrodnik of Altra Federal Credit Union was nice enough to send me some photos he took of the storm. In a word, amazing!
By the time I made it to my destination the storm was beginning to die down. I was able to catch a few nice shots but nothing near the quality of Tim. I hope you enjoyed the photos. Hoping for a little lightning photography tonight, we shall see.