All original images (C) Steve Douglass unless otherwise noted.

All original images (C) Steve Douglass unless otherwise noted. Permission required for commercial use or publishing.

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Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!


The old give way to the young. New thoughts sprout from fertile ground.

While the New Year beckons us with many promises, don't forget to give the old year its due.

Learn from past mistakes and carry the lessons of time with you.

This year resolve to laugh more, love more, forgive more, friend more and learn more.

May 2011 be your best year yet!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Monday, December 13, 2010

Top 5 Christmas wish list gifts for your storm chaser!

It's that time of the year and many spouses may wonder just what to get their storm chasing mate? With that in mind, I've compiled a short list that could aid you in your efforts. Click on each item to be linked to the site that sells this top gear.

1. Cafe Press Storm Chaser Stuff
Funny & cool - sure to get a chuckle and make your chaser happy. My favorite is the "Storm Goddess" shirt.



2. Uniden BCT15X Scanner
Every stormchaser should have one of these. I highly recommend a good scanner for good situational awareness. This one can be programmed for any county in the country by downloading frequencies right into the scanner from the Internet.
The BCT15X comes equipped with Uniden exclusive features like Advanced Dynamic Memory System, Close Call™ RF Capture Technology, and GPS compatibility. Want to eavesdrop on Vortex II? Just turn on Close Call and drive close to them and the scanner will lock in on their communications! Buy the refurbished version and save $50. It will also fit in your dashboard!





3. Cobra 29 XLE 50th anniversary CB radio with weather scan.
So you went down the wrong muddy road - got stuck and the cell phone has no bars. Maybe you need a CB radio? I have one in my car and it has helped me summon aid on several occasions. Not only is this a great looking and operating radio - but it also automatically scans all the NOAA weather radio frequencies (with alert) so you'll always be aware of the current weather warnings. Don't forget to buy a good antenna along with this radio! I hope to post a full review of this radio soon.



4. Haier HLT71 7" LCD TV
Another must have for any storm spotter or chaser. When the broadband is down and you can't get radar updates - this TV could save your life. I have one of these and they are great for receiving both analog and digital TV broadcasts.







5. Canon Vixia HF R100 HD Camcorder.
Full HD 1080P video at an unbelievable price. Amazing color and definition. Mount one of these on your dash or use it handheld to capture your storm in stunning HD. Don't forget to buy extra SDHC media cards!



Send me your Storm Chaser Christmas gift list!

-Steve Douglass

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Blades ...


Army Chinooks photographed at Rick Husband Airport in Amarillo.

Photo by Steve Douglass

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Friday, November 12, 2010

Amarillo Snowbirds

Snowbirds .. short video I shot of the mini-blizzard. All but gone now.



-Steve Douglass

Monday, November 1, 2010

November ...



"November comes
And November goes,
With the last red berries
And the first white snows.

With night coming early,
And dawn coming late,
And ice in the bucket
And frost by the gate.

The fires burn
And the kettles sing,
And earth sinks to rest
Until next spring."
- Elizabeth Coatsworth

Friday, October 29, 2010

Happy Halloween!


Photo by Steve Douglass

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Monday, October 25, 2010

Photo of the day - heading south


Click to enlarge:

A lone flyer takes autumn's nod seriously and heads south to warner climates.

Photo by Steve Douglass

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

KACV seeking Dust Bowl survivor stories ..

Did you survive the Dirty 30s or know someone who did? If So KACV producer Marcie Robinson may want to talk to you.

On Friday, October 22nd, KACV is holding an open call for interviewees to come by and tell their Dust Bowl story for a special project (TV & web) as a companion to Ken Burn's/Dayton Duncan/Florentine Films production of The Dust Bowl - set to air in 2012.

For more information watch KACV or call : 806- 371-5306

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

AES storm spotter killed in crash - another badly injured.

Author's note: I know both John and Leah and am greatly saddened by this. John was a great guy and a terrific spotter. I'll miss his pearly whites. My prayers go out to their families and wish Leah a swift recovery - but I know from experience it is a long stormy road ahead. - Steve Douglass


WICHITA FALLS — An Amarillo man has died from injuries he suffered in a highway crash between Henrietta and Wichita Falls Monday. His wife is in critical condition in a Wichita Falls hospital.

Department of Public Safety Trooper Tony Fulton identified the man as Jonathan Park Wolfe, 57. He died at United Regional Hospital Monday.

His wife is Leah Ann Wolfe, also 57.

An Amarillo radio station reports Wolfe was a former broadcast engineer who currently operated a race track in the Panhandle city.

The accident happened on U.S. 287 near Boddy Road Monday afternoon.

Fulton said the Wolfes' pickup, pulling a box trailer, and a dump struck were side by side heading west on the four-lane highway. He said the trailer apparently struck the dump truck, causing the pickup to swerve, lose control and careen into the median where it rolled over a stopped DPS unit.

Fulton said the Wolfes were not wearing seatbelts and were thrown from their vehicle.

Neither Trooper Brice Blake nor dump truck driver Anthony Joseph Schreiver of Wichita Falls, was injured.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Friday, September 17, 2010

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Another Epic sunset - time lapse video

Today's toad floater!

Today's storm chase turned quickly into a high precipitation event with urban flooding occurring in the usual places in SW Amarillo. There were many water-rescues as well as wrecks due to poor visibility and dime sized hail. The ranger's station at Palo Duro Canyon reported a brief bout of grapefruit sized ice chunks. Here's some of the flooding vid I shot for KVII.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Severe weather possible Thursday ...



STRONG CONVECTION...POSSIBLY SEVERE...IS EXPECTED TO DEVELOP ALONG
TRAILING SFC FRONT OVER THE SRN HIGH PLAINS THURSDAY. LATEST MODEL
GUIDANCE STRONGLY IMPLY THAT UPSLOPE FLOW ALONG WITH STRONG DIURNAL
HEATING WILL REMOVE THE CAP ACROSS THE TX/OK PANHANDLES INTO SERN
CO. FORECAST SHEAR ACROSS THIS REGION IS SUPPORTIVE OF DEEP ROTATING
UPDRAFTS AS SELY LOW LEVEL FLOW VEERS INTO THE WNW AT MID LEVELS.
ADDITIONALLY...LATEST WV IMAGERY SUGGESTS A WELL DEFINED SHORTWAVE
TROUGH EJECTING ACROSS SRN CA WILL SPREAD INTO THE HIGH PLAINS
AROUND PEAK HEATING. THIS SHOULD ENHANCE THE CONVECTIVE POTENTIAL
WITH EARLY SUPERCELLS EVOLVING INTO SEVERAL THUNDERSTORM CLUSTERS BY
EVENING. LARGE HAIL - DAMAGING WINDS AND PERHAPS AN ISOLATED
TORNADO ARE THE SEVERE THREATS WITH THIS ACTIVITY.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Dallas Tornado video

The Buzzard Air Show

Palo Duro Canyon State Park is renowned for its epic natural beauty and the outdoor musical TEXAS! - but did you know there is another show (of sorts) that takes place nightly at the southern end of the canyon? Local photographers call it "The Buzzard Air Show."

Each year thousands of tourists are drawn to Palo Duro Canyon State Park to take in its beauty - but a group of local photographers and bird watchers have discovered an amazing phenomenon that many never knew existed.

It's been nicknamed The Buzzard Air Show and takes place at sunset - every evening near the Cow Camp Cabins at the southern end of the park. Like a scene out of Hitchcock's "The Birds" - thousands of Turkey Vultures descend on a small group of trees to roost for the night.

For hours - vultures fly into the canyon from all over the Panhandle - filling the sky by the hundreds. The mature birds land first- seemingly acting like air-traffic-controllers - spreading their wings to signal to the orbiting vultures it's time to land.

Ugly and ungainly on the ground but beautiful in the air - these vultures ride the thermals over the mesas in graceful arcs until the last light of day is almost gone, then they descend in waves - all vying and squabbling over the best perches, much to the delight of local photographers.

The Buzzard Air Show begins every night about an hour before sundown with the last of the birds touching down just after dark. There is no charge for the Buzzard Air Show - but there is to enter the park - five dollars per person - well worth it to watch this amazing natural spectacle.

Viewers are advised to bring a camera, binoculars, lawn chairs and an umbrella - because some of the air show participants - uh - can become bombers.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Amarillo Flyers




By Steve Douglass

Monday, September 6, 2010

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Talons ...




Captured today at Rick Husband Int Airport ... from Vance AFB.

I often wondered what birds must think of planes. This immature (and flightless) Meadowlark was sitting on the fence-line  singing his heart out - but every time a talon flew by - he stopped and seemed to watch. 
I kind of thought he was wishing that some day he could fly that fast. He was really tame and posed calmly (seemingly preoccupied by the air show) allowing me to patiently frame this shot. 



Here's another shot - the Meadowlark singing as if to tell the jet he's a big bird too. The jet was louder.


September ...

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Friday, August 20, 2010

Moonlight, a thunderstorm and a jet.


(C) Steve Douglass

Another epic sky ...

Sunflowers: Experimental video -

I'm learning a new editing program that works with my new HD camera. I hope to have this down by the next storm season. Can't wait for Spring 2011!

-Steve


video

Monday, August 16, 2010

Monday - sun day?


Good day sunshine - well - at least the sunflowers are out.

-Steve

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Only shade for miles ...


-Steve Douglass

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Monday, August 9, 2010

F-100 Super Sabre at Randall County Barn?


F-100 spotted out at the Randall County Barn on Loop 335. I think this is going to become a permanent display for the Texas Panhandle War Memorial on Georgia.

Best of 2010: Hailstorm 5-21-10

I have a peculiar obsession. I find that during the Spring I spend much of my time in the pursuit of rapidly rotating water vapor. An esoteric addiction to be sure - but it is one that sustains me through the long and dry winter months - knowing that soon the Earth will tilt on it's axis in favor of the Northern Hemisphere and warmth and moisture will surge out of the Gulf again- and inevitably collide with the dry air pulsing out of Canada.

Where they collide in tumult is where you will find me - and other weather addicts, storm chasers in search of that rare storm (one in 100) that will produce that rapidly rotating column of air (in contact with the ground) known as a tornado.

But unlike a lot of storm chasers - I'm not in it for the thrill- the adrenaline rush of standing next to a natural thing that could quite easily sweep me from this earth.

I am instead driven by a quest for the perfect image of the atmosphere in conflict with itself, majestic and quite oblivious to the dominion of man.

I'm not content to take snapshots. My quest is to get as close as I can to capturing the wonderfully amazing heavenly tableau, whirling in ever changing color and light that is commonly known (in dry scientific terms) as a severe thunderstorm.

To me that's tantamount to calling the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel a painting.

My quest is to bottle the moment when the storm is at it worst and - quite ironically - that is also when it is at its best - photogenically speaking.

It's true- Mother Nature is beautiful when she's angry.

In this post and others to follow I will be sending you my best captures of the 2010 storm season. I hope you enjoy them and in some small way you feel as if you have been along for the big show.

--

Kicking it off are images of a atmospheric conflagration that took place on May 21st in SE Armstrong County.

On that day the atmospheric stage was set for an epic struggle between warm- moist air, streaming in up and over the Caprock and a pool of cool moisture left behind when a non-severe thunderstorm had collapsed over the county the night before.

On top of this layer was a jet of dry air - called "The Cap" and like a lid on a boiling pot of water it was about to get blown off.

Although the official forecast was for a slight chance of "isolated severe thunderstorms" I had a gut feeling (based on years of storm chasing experience) that when storms did develop - they could be epic.

"Isolated thunderstorms" are the best type to chase. Surrounded by clear dry air, they stand out like floating white mountains over an emerald green sea of High Plains grassland.

Think Denali, but not rising out of the ground, attached to the earth but up in the sky floating above one's head.

Morning NWS weather ballon soundings revealed a jet of dry air aloft ( around 5,000 feet) making chances for a tornado very slim but I rightly figured once the atmosphere boiled over- gorgeous and particularly high-based thunderstorms were possible.

"High based" is a meteorological term that basically means that any storms that formed would have a high-cloud-base with the lowest clouds (the base) not forming close to the ground.

Because the bottom of the storms would be above 5,000 feet - any funnels that could form would most likely not reach the ground.

Bad for tornado enthusiasts but great for sky photographers like myself. The storms would most likely be severe "Hailers" loaded with wind-born ice - poised to crash to the ground - dangerous but epically photogenic.

I began chasing around 3PM when the first storm towers began going up east of Amarillo. These early "popcorn" storms would be smacked dead by the "Cap" but as the day heated up - I knew it was only a matter of time until the warm moist-air packed with thermal energy would have no where to go but up, eventually exploding through the dry air aloft that had held it prisoner all day.

Close to 5PM (at the peak of the day's heating) it did just that.

When the cap breaks, it breaks spectacularly with cauliflower-storm towers shooting up in minutes up to 50,000 feet.

I watched as the storm blew up just southwest of Claude, Texas. They swept over me dropping some small hail and producing a rainbow - pretty but hardly epic.

But just after the storm passed northward over the highway it blossomed exponentially and soon I was hearing reports of it dropping golf ball sized hail and bigger.

I followed it on a farm-to-market road as it slowly headed northeasterly at almost walking speed.

Because of the isolated nature of the storm, I was relatively safe from the hail, driving through sunshine even though it was dumping millions of tons of ice less than a mile away.

Once it moved out a little more eastward and into a part of the county without any roads (where I could follow) I stopped to take the storms portrait.

Gazing up at it all I couldn't help but choke up a bit. Before me was a perfect storm of epic beauty and power, massive crackling with sound and fury. it seemed alive, churning shape shifting, angry and placid at the same time.

I set up my tripod, attached my Nikon and set about capturing this beautiful behemoth.

I would follow and photograph until the light was gone.

At sunset - the storm began to fall apart - but it was even glorious in its death - catching the last rays of the sun and lighting up against the clar Panhandle sky like a frozen atomic explosion.

Here it is:
CLICK TO ENLARGE

-Steve Douglass




video

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

August rain and a light show!

video

Corny as Kansas in August!


Photographed East of Amarillo.

-Steve Douglass

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Seen better days ...


An abandoned, weathered house bears testimony to the wild West Texas winds.

-Steve Douglass

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Suspicious lowering ...


Video stil from last night - suspicious lowering over SW Amarillo. I could only see it when the lightning flashed. There was no rotation.

-Steve

Click to enlarge!

Please click on each image to enlarge them and see them in their proper color and contrast.