Meteorologist Jacob DeFlitch had one of the season’s most spectacular storms all to himself Saturday evening. Instead of heading to Kansas with the mass of other storm chasers, DeFlitch — based in Colorado — took the road less traveled into the Texas panhandle.
And that made all the difference.
DeFlitch began his storm pursuit in Boise City, Okla., where he spotted a fledgling thunderstorm, born in eastern New Mexico. It would captivate him for the next three hours.
DeFlitch followed the storm, driving across the Texas-Oklahoma border into the Texas panhandle, where he watched the storm mature near the town of Stratford. Then he filmed it at its prime and created a time-lapse. The footage is breathtaking.
The time-lapse reveals the rotating storm’s structure, resembling an alien spaceship or, as storm chasers refer to it, a “mother ship.”
The warm moist air feeding into the storm, or updraft, twists around it like a corkscrew.
“It was one of the best structures I’ve seen all-time,” DeFlitch said.
The icing on the cake was the lightning, which shot down the towering storm shaft as the sun was setting: storm-chasing gold.
The dog along for the ride, however, was not impressed:
The storm, known as a supercell because of its rotating winds, did not spawn a tornado. However, according to the National Weather Service, it produced tennis- to baseball-size hail.
Below, find some captures from DeFlitch’s Twitter feed: