* *  Mike Umscheid PHOTOGRAPHY & STORM CHASE BLOG   * *


Most Recent Shoots

24 Apr 2017
Southeast Arizona Bird Photography Trip (Day 3)
Synopsis: Day 3 of this trip started at Ash Canyon B&B where I photographed at a new photo blind on the property. It was a very windy morning, althoug...
23 Apr 2017
Southeast Arizona Bird Photography Trip (Day 2)
Synopsis: Day 2 of this trip started in the Battiste BB&B backyard at Tony's photography setup. This was quite productive with a a few gallery-worthy ...
22 Apr 2017
Southeast Arizona Bird Photography Trip (Day 1)
Synopsis: Day 1 of this short trip started out in Portal in the morning, where I photographed feeder birds at a feeding station just northeast of Port...
15 Apr 2017
LP Supercell near Protection, KS
Synopsis: An awesome LP supercell was photographed this day, one of the better LP storms I have photographed in quite some time. The sunset colors and...
14 Apr 2017
Photogenic supercell at sunset near Sumner, NE
Synopsis: Managed to get some good images of a late-developing supercell storm near Sumner, NE. The storm had fairly decent tiered structure for a tim...

3-Month Calendar of Shoots Centered on June 2012
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= Storm Chases & Shoots of June 2012 =



Location: Southwestern South Dakota from Enning to Elm Springs to Badlands Nat'l Park, SD

Shoot type: Storm Chase
# of images: 1
Synopsis: This was a rather frustrating storm chase that culminated on a positive note. Jay Antle, Evan Bookbinder, and I were targeting along and just north of I-90 east of Rapid City. As storms initially struggled to develop, we became impatient and went after an ongoing storm to our north-northeast, northeast of White Owl, SD. As we reached the town of Enning after driving on unpaved roads, we learned that this storm was severely undercut, and the only way we could get in the proper position was to backtrack down to I-90. As this was happening, a hail storm developed to our south. We eventually got southeast of this storm along I-90 and got into a favorable viewing position when we got into the Badlands National Park. In the park, we photographed the storm which took on some marginal supercell characteristics. At sunset, we drove south of the park along Hwy 44 near Imlay, SD and photographed some marginal mammatus as we also documented some golfball size hail that had just fallen before we arrived.




Location: Southwestern North Dakota north of Rhame, ND

Shoot type: Storm Chase
# of images: 3
Synopsis: This was a pretty good chase day, as Jay Antle, Evan Bookbinder, and I intercepted a low-precipitation supercell during the mid to late evening hours. We navigated a ranch road north of Highway 12 to photograph the storm to our north, northeast of the town of Rhame, ND. Just after sunset, the upper portion of the cumulonimbus took on a rather spectacular pink glow which provided for some very nice images.




Location: North-central Nebraska from Thedford, NE to the Valentine Nat'l Wildlife Refuge

Shoot type: Storm Chase
# of images: 0
Synopsis: This chase day started in Belle Fourche, SD, and after a brief tour of the Badland Nat'l Park, we (my storm chase partner Evan Bookbinder and I) set off south-southeast toward developing storms west of the Thedford, NE area. By the time we reached Thedford, though, the storm of interest was dissipating with no further development occurring. We decided to cut our losses and head back to Belle Fourche, catching the sunset along Highway 82 south of Valentine on the way.




Location: Western South Dakota about 10 miles north of Belle Fourche, SD

Shoot type: Weather and Landscape
# of images: 0
Synopsis: This was a non-storm chase driving day starting in Regina, SK and ending in Belle Fourche, SD. After checking into our motel for the night in Belle Fourche, we decided to head north of town a little bit to catch the sunset as the sky was rather smoke-filled from wildfires out west over western Wyoming.




Location: Southern Saskatchewan from Swift Current to Moose Jaw to Regina, SK

Shoot type: Storm Chase
# of images: 3
Synopsis: Evan Bookbinder and I intercepted the first storm, an early day elevated supercell, near Swift Current. We followed this storm east along the Trans-Canada Hwy until the structure of the storm became less interesting. We then decided to head east to Moose Jaw to reposition ourselves for the better, late afternoon/early evening show. A supercell formed rapidly about 40 miles to our southwest, and we plotted an intercept down in the Coderre-Courval area. We were in excellent position for a time along Hwy 626, north northeast of Courval, but we needed to go south to Hwy 363 before we could continue east...then eventually back north. During this reposition time, we did observe a distant tornado back to our west-northwest shortly after 6:00pm CDT. After that tornado dissipated, we continued east along Hwy 363 then back north between 6:20 and 6:40pm. During this time, a large tornado was occurring well to our west-northwest that we could not see because of the hilly terrain to our west. We managed to photograph amazing supercell structure, however, during the 6:40 to 6:50 time frame. We followed this supercell to north of Moose Jaw then intercepted approaching menacing squall line with nice shelf cloud structure and cloud-to-ground lightning. We raced east to stay ahead of this, but eventually let it overtake us as we came closer to Regina. At Regina in the wake of the storm, an amazing display of mammatus greeted us, but unfortunately it was in shadow. If it was not in shadow, this mammatus could have the best mammatus both of us have evern seen. All in all, an exciting chase!




Location: Southeastern Alberta & Southwestern Saskatchewan from Oyen, AB to Kindersley, SK

Shoot type: Storm Chase
# of images: 2
Synopsis: Evan Bookbinder and I intercepted the first storm near Oyen, AB. After refueling at the highway intersection just north of town, we continued east to get back out ahead of it. Once we did, we photographed shelf cloud structure along the way to the Alberta-Saskatchewan border near the town of Alsask. Once we reached Kindersley, we made the decision to let the storm roll by us and photograph the backside of the storm. This turned out to be a good decision, as we observed and photographed an amazing backsheared cumulonimubus to the southeast in brilliant hues of orange, gold, and eventually magenta. Occasional lightning segments up in the anvil near storm summit were also photographed. The color was simply amazing and will be a moment we will never forget, being our first ever trip to Canada!




Location: Glacier National Park, Montana

Shoot type: Landscape
# of images: 2
Synopsis: This was the second day of my storm chase vacation, and since it was a down day with no storms expected, Evan, Jay, and I drove through Glacier National Park. We drove the entire stretch of the Going to the Sun Road from east to west, photographing the amazing spectacle of sharp mountain peaks, cliffs, glaciers, and countless waterfalls from the ongoing snowmelt. The highlight of this drive was witnessing a wall of snow collapse onto the road very near Logan Pass. This temporarily blocked the road until a bunch of passersby were stopped and helped clear a path. We exited the park at West Glacier then followed Hwy 2 back east toward Browning, MT where we photographed a beautiful sunset just outside of town




Location: Northern Montana north/northwest of Great Falls, MT

Shoot type: Storm Chase
# of images: 1
Synopsis: This was the first day of my annual storm chase vacation, chasing with Evan Bookbinder and Jay Antle. The three of us intercepted this storm around 8:45pm MDT to the north-northwest of Great Falls, MT after a continuous 1200-mile drive beginning from Kansas City! The storm was high-based and became outflow dominant by the time we reached it, however the structure was decent at times as we photographed it from a distance, east of Dutton, MT.




Location: Southwestern Kansas from Ness City to east of Kalvesta to Jetmore, KS

Shoot type: Storm Chase
# of images: 2
Synopsis: I left for this storm chase during the mid afternoon hours for a Dighton, KS target. The first storm of intercept was near the Ness City area, and I continued to drop south to catch the southernmost cell of the cluster of storms. The southernmost storm was drifting slowly southwest, so I decided to navigate a dirt road west of Highway 283 in northwestern Hodgeman County. I photographed storm structure including a few lightning flashes. I then photographed what appeared to be a distant landspout type tornado at around 7:15pm CDT, but upon further review, I am not so sure, as it could have been a concentrated pllume of smoke being lifted upward near the supercell updraft. I observed no less than 5 separate grass/wheat stubble fires from the insane amount of anvil lightning that was occurring well away from the primary storm. The supercell became involved in an advancing squall line, and I followed this east back to Highway 283 near Jetmore. South of Jetmore, I photographed the largest of the grass fires I would observe, which was just east of the highway at around 8:15pm.




Location: Southeastern Colorado to far southwestern Kansas from near Pritchett, CO to Big Bow, KS

Shoot type: Storm Chase
# of images: 3
Synopsis: This storm chase started with the first storm intercept around 3:30pm CDT just outside of Pritchett, CO. This storm was nearly stationary, and I drifted east along Hwy 160 photographing it through the 5 o'clock hour when it began to merge up with several other storms and become less photographable. I met up for a short time with photographer David Mayhew between Pritchett and Springfield. Through some advice from Matt Crowther who was also chasing this storm, I headed north to photograph some mammatus. I played the backside of the storm complex near Johnson, KS and photographed an extremely brilliant double rainbow just east of Johnson. I concluded this chase near Big Bow photographing more awesome, colorful sky scenes at sunset.




Location: My house

Shoot type: Weather and Sky Around Home
# of images: 0
Synopsis: A couple of westward moving thunderstorms were photographed from my front yard during the evening hours. I played around with the polarizer filter which enhanced some of the images and made for a fairly interesting effect with the small precipitation shafts of one of the storms to the northeast of my house.




Location: Eastern Oklahoma Panhandle around Slapout, OK

Shoot type: Storm Chase
# of images: 1
Synopsis: A nearly stationary storm formed southwest of Laverne during the early evening hours. After conversing with Matt Crowther, Jeff Piotrowski and others just north of Laverne, I decided to head south and then west along Hwy 412 to near Slapout. After initially going south to photograph storm structure, I drove back north to the Clear Lake, OK area (about 5 miles northwest of Slapout) and photographed a very picturesque narrow updraft with corkscrew appearance. The storm eventually died as sunset approached. I concluded the chase photographing some sunset sky scenes a couple miles east-southeast of Gate, OK along Hwy 64.




Location: Northeastern New Mexico to Northwest Texas Panhandle (Johnson Mesa, NM to Hartley-Dumas, TX)

Shoot type: Storm Chase
# of images: 1
Synopsis: This chase day was rather frustrating, but I did manage to get some nice images out of a very tiring chase with a ton of driving. I set out for the Raton/Johnson Mesa area early in the day, leaving Dodge City around 7:00am. I reached Raton by early afternoon and then decided to observe the sky atop the Johnson Mesa. Some small storms formed around 2:00pm CDT, and I followed one of them off the mesa southeast to the Des Moines, NM area. This storm never materialized, and I decided to head back northwest in the direction of Raton to catch new mountain storms. I drove all the way back to and up the Johnson Mesa to try my hand at some lightning photography. These storms were not cooperating, and in the meantime, new development was occurring back off to the east again... ugh! So, back southeast it was again on Hwy 64 to Clayton. Storms were really growing to my south-southwest about 90 miles, and I didn't want to end the chase on such a frustrating note, so I set a course to intercept the storms moving into desolate Oldham County, TX. At Dalhart I continued south to Hartley with very electrical storms to the southwest. At Hartley, I continued west to photograph some of the storm structure with nice canyon landscape. Storms were continuing to form all around me, and I was not able to stay ahead of them. I got munched by wind and small hail between Hartley and Dumas along Hwy 87. I then went north about 10 miles north of Dumas to photograph lightning from a new storm to my north-northwest at sunset. I only had marginal success, missing some of the close CG's, unfortunately.




Location: Oklahoma Panhandle from Forgan to Guymon, OK

Shoot type: Storm Chase
# of images: 1
Synopsis: This was another after work chase. I set out to intercept storms that first developed east of Liberal...hoping for an intercept near the OK-KS border south of Meade State Park. I did not get into the inflow sector of this storm before it crossed Hwy 23...and I received some quarter size hail on the north side of the storm as it passed just south of me. I let this storm go as it was moving into a more stable airmass...opting for new development back to the west and northwest. An isolated storm formed north of Guymon and I decided to intercept this storm. By the time I reached it, though, it was on a downhill trend. I wanted to get on the backside of the storm to capture anything photogenic with the lowering sun angle. I did manage to capture a nice full rainbow with remnant precipitation shaft and small cumulonimbus cloud above it. That was pretty much it for this chase.




Other storm chases that busted/no photography in