The ingredient based explanation for supercell thunderstorms cites moisture, wind shear, instability and lift as the reasons for their formation. I prefer to focus on the big picture. Supercell thunderstorms are a manifestation of nature’s attempt to correct an extreme imbalance. The ever ongoing effort to reach equilibrium, or viscosity, is what drives all of our weather, and the force with which the atmosphere tries to correct this imbalance is proportional to the gradient. In other words, the more extreme the imbalance, the more extreme the storm.
This collection of timelapses was gathered over the last six years. The project started out as wanting to be able to see the life-cycles of these storms, just for my own enjoyment and to increase my understanding of them. Over time, it morphed into an obsession with wanting to document as many photogenic supercells as I could, in as high a resolution as possible, as to be able to share with those who couldn’t see first hand the majestic beauty that comes alive in the skies above America’s Great Plains every Spring. After more than 100,000 miles on the road and tens of thousands of shutter clicks later, this is the result. I hope you enjoy watching it as much as I enjoyed creating it.
Keep an eye out for a long form version of my storm timelapses, as these are a small sample of what I’ve been able to gather. I’m not sure yet how the extended version will be released. If you have any ideas regarding distribution or would like to license my work for your own project, please contact me: ChadLCowan@gmail.com
I love teaching people about storms and severe weather and how to safely document them. Feel free to email me if you have any interest in joining me for a chase. June is by far the best time to go out, as the storms are more photogenic and slow moving than any other month.
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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.