Extremely long shelf cloud

Another week of some photogenic storms.  This past weekend(6/28/13) definitely had the best results.  I always keep my eye on the radar, and even on marginally stormy days, certain features can produce incredible images.  This day in particular I had my sights on getting a good shelf cloud.  The buzz of a possible shelf cloud started in my weather group a few days prior when talk of an ‘MCS’ might come across the state.  What this means, is that the storms might organize in a ‘straight line’ fashion heading the same direction(usually), and can sweep across entire states, being hundreds of miles in length.  I definitely had something to watch for….

It was game day, and the atmosphere was looking prime and ready!  The storms aligned themselves as predicted, but the amazing part was that the system was hundreds of miles north to south, but only a few miles across.  They were also heading at about 40 mph, meaning that an area would get dumped on by rain, wind, and lightning for a few minutes before it was all over.  What this means for me is that the intense wind  in front of the storms would produce some really long shelf clouds.

With this in mind, I got in the car with my girlfriend Hazel, and we drove about 100 miles southeast to get in position.  As we got closer, the shelf cloud became apparent and the next mission was for us to find a foreground.  Sometimes this can be very difficult in NC, because the thick, tall trees love to block the view of the sky.  However, we were able to find a large hilly field which would let us see a 180 degree view.  Knowing that the sky would soon be filled with the intense winds and shelf cloud, I got on top of my 4runner hood to get the best angle.  Tripod and shutter release in place, I waited for the storm to get closer.  As soon as it was at the distance I wanted, I snapped the 15 image panorama to capture the length of the storm.
Taken near Carthage, NC 6/28/13
6-28-13 pano(edited)


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