Ponca City after-dark lightning display (19 May 2013)
* *  Mike Umscheid PHOTOGRAPHY & STORM CHASE BLOG   * *

About This Shoot
Date: 19 May 2013
Location: North-central Oklahoma toward Ponca City at dark
Shoot Type: Storm Chase
The main chase was largely a bust, once again, as we (myself, Jon, Rob, Mitch, and Candice) opted to stay north instead of farther south down the dryline where tornadoes occurred just north and northeast of the Oklahoma City metro. One of the storms we chased did produce a tornado near South Haven, but we somehow managed to miss this tornado while we were repositioning back south. We had a disagreement on what to do next as there were tornadic supercells an hour and a half to our south. Rob, Mitch, and Candice opted to try to intercept these storms, while Jon and I hung back in hopes of further development closer to where we were along the I-35 corridor south of the KS border. Nothing really happened until after sunset when storms formed south of Ponca City as we were eating dinner. The best images of the day came from just outside our motel room in Ponca as we had a great look to the south at fantastic lightning-illuminated cumulonimbus storm structure -- so not all was lost on the day photography wise.

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19 May 2013

Ponca City after-dark lightning display

Mon, 20 May 2013 08:32:55 -0600
Chase Summary May 19, 2013
We started the day in Pratt with a broad target in mind from south-central
Kansas down to Oklahoma City. We staged early afternoon in Blackwell, OK,
but the early consensus of the group (myself, Jon Smith, Rob Mitchell,
Mitch and Candice Daszewski) was to head down toward the OKC area. At
Blackwell, though, things started to happen quickly, with two areas to
decide on. Do we blast south toward the towers just west of OKC or do we
hang out where we were at. Long story short, we stayed north despite.
There was some disagreement in this decision. We went west from Blackwell
and intercepted the South Haven storm, somehow missing the brief tornado
that was embedded in some precipitation. We must have been driving south
at the time to get into the updraft region. There was another disagreement
on what to do next... but since we made the early call to stay north, I
wanted to stay up here because I was seeing some signals that perhaps a
non-supercell tornado would occur. Rob, Mitch, and Candice broke off and
they tried to catch one of the dryline tornadic supercells... while Jon and
I stayed north. Neither camps saw any tornadoes. Rob, Mitch, and Candice
ended the day in Tulsa and Jon and I are in Ponca City this morning. We
had a fulfilling mexican dinner and afterwards enjoyed a wonderful
lightning display just southeast of Ponca City. I managed to get some nice
images of that... which ended up being my best shots of the day, ironically

Forecast May 20:
We are leaving soon, before 10am, heading south to the Red River region..
with an early staging location Ardmore, OK. The dryline looks good today
with all the models showing storms developing...even down into North Texas
and perhaps Central TX. We are hoping something goes tornadic along the
Red River.
(click on thumbnail for pop-up of larger image)