STORM CHASING USA 2011

Distance driven today: 756kms | Total so far: 5528kms

There was never really much hope for today, but we went where we thought the best do-able spot was, being around SE Missouri. 400kms was a little bit of a stretch for not much chance, but after today there was virtually nothing on the cards anywhere in the country until next wednesday, so we went for it.

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Somewhere between Houston and Licking, Missouri:

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Entering St Louis city:

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With activity failing all over the place, we were all chilled and ready to check into a hotel when some activity started firing 80kms N of St Louis around Litchfield, Iowa, so of course, off we went.

Mammatus was a good sign:

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The traffic on the way back into town was not:

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Desperately hoping for some structure off our new questionable cell did not necessarily deliver it.

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A stop with a good view revealed some of the top of the updraft as lightning became visible.

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My much desired structure did not eventuate, but it eventually got dark enough to shoot for some lightning. The next two photos are composites, such was the dullness of the individual lightning shots on their own:

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We hoped for the best as this cell drifted away from us in slow motion, but eventually thunder became too distant to hear and the lighting retreated to intra-cloud.

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Not long after, it was time to call it a night and head back to St Louis to chill for a couple of days before trekking back W in readiness for the next weather system. Hopefully we'll get to slip in to Vegas for a night or two!