He was a Bill. He was only a Bill, and I was filming him just north of a hill.
On Friday, June 19th, the remnants of Tropical Storm Bill provided me with my best storm day of 2015 so far. Going from very little in the way of storms all year to two tornado warned storms in one day, both in my own back yard, is like getting a deluge in a desert. Although I didn't see anything on the ground from my location, an EF0 tornado was confirmed from the first of the two tornado warned storms in Troy, Indiana, just across the river from me. I will break up the rest of this blog into 2 separate sections for each storm to make it easier to follow.
STORM #1 - I was already set up as the first storm began to approach Lewisport from the southwest around 2:50pm. This was before the tornado warning was issued. I was at the dead end on Sands Drive in Lewisport overlooking the Ohio River with the storm approaching at my 8 o'clock position. This provided me with the best point of view as it tracked northeast up the river. The video captures below are of the lightning as the storm approached.
I made a time lapse from the video of my hood cam below. It is shown at 20X normal speed to better show the rotation. Around the 1 minute mark, I knew this wasn't a typical Summertime convection storm. At the end of this video, I decided I really needed to get outside of town to get a better view around me. I immediately headed east out of town toward the Hancock County, KY Airport.
On my way to the airport, I get a tornado warning alert on my phone. Less than a minute later, I get a call from my Dad telling me the same thing. Redundancy is a great thing when chasing, especially when you are out solo. On the way, I stopped briefly to capture the following image. This was on River Road about 1/2 mile east of Lewisport looking north at 3:24pm.
The next time lapse was shot on Greathouse Road, just northeast of the airport looking toward Troy, IN. Just like the last video, this is at 20x normal speed. A few video captures of the lightning are immediately below that. As far as my chase on this storm, I was done after this. There are a very limited number of bridges crossing the Ohio River in this area. There was no way I could keep up with the storm at this point. The National Weather Service did confirm this as an EF0 tornado that briefly touched down in the city of Troy, IN. You can see their findings HERE.
Immediately after the storm, I rushed home, backed up everything I shot, recharged my batteries, edited and posted a couple of quick photos, then decided to wait a day before editing anything else. Unless time is super critical, I like to step away from what I shoot for at least a full day so I approach it with fresh eyes in the editing process. You can be too close to something sometimes to see it objectively. A little time away from it can help with that. Tim Crabtree of the Daviess County Weather Spotters was kind enough to send me some screen captures of the wind velocity data on the storms I was tracking. I added my location to each image.
STORM #2 - Having captured some great footage already that day, I had resigned myself to relaxing the rest of the day by playing some Fallout 3 on the Xbox 360. When gaming, I lost all track of time and am oblivious to the world around me. That's one of the reasons I love gaming. It is a real escape for me. Around 6pm however, I hear a rumble. At first, I think it is my neighbor's truck. It sounds like thunder every time it starts up. The second rumble lasted too long however. I immediately check the radar and sure enough, another storm began to approach from the West. Then, the weather radio alarm goes off...another tornado warning. This time, the warning was a little farther north, just barely, but close enough that I could get shots of the storm from the river again. Chris Conley was closer to this system than I was just before it went tornado warned.
This time, I went to the Lewisport boat ramp because it provides a wider angle of view. Here is another 20x normal speed time lapse of that storm as it passed by. Wayne Hart of Eyewitness News informed me that the tornado warning with this second storm was radar indicated only. There were no confirmed reports of anything on the ground.
The following Sunday night into Monday morning proved to be my best lightning day since 2012. My next blog will be all about that. Stay tuned. Until then, you can always check out my Facebook page and follow me on Twitter and Instagram. Also, every photo I post either here or on social media is for sale. Check out my prints page for prices and email me about any image you are interested in.