BEAUTY. DANGER. ENCHANTMENT.
This image captures the raw power and beauty of mother nature.
I felt nothing but pure enchantment as I stood there, not wanting to take my eyes off it for a moment!
Shannbilto000063 tornados touching down over a field in Dodge City Kansas United States
Starting in 2015, I try every year to disappear for 2 weeks of vacation in the hopes of seeing Mother nature at her worst and most beautiful (to me). For the first two years I joined a tour group and paid over $4500 USD to travel to the US, to learn more about forecasting and gain in the field knowledge on storms. In 2016, we were disappointed after the first week of no storms and killing time exploring country sides and watching movies! The storms forecasted for the second half of the trips didn't look the best either. Early on it was looking like one day of potential on Thursday...the day before we all flew back home. now with forecasting that far out, things can change a lot within 24-48 hours out, even hours out. And boy did things change. We were treated to 24 tornadoes in 5 days...can you imagine, and thanks to our brave tour guides, we got within 50 to 100 yards of almost every single one.
This particular day, May 24, 2016, we saw 12 tornadoes in total.
After watching the first tornado touchdown we travelled through back roads and swarms of other chasers. As we happened upon this road, the other tour van got stuck and while in the process of getting pushed out of the mud, we all piled out of the vans for a quick photo opportunity.
With the warm, moist inflow winds flowing through my hair, I rushed to set up my camera and tripod to capture this beast and watched three..yes three tornadoes dancing in the field just ahead of us, threatening damage to everything in its path! This image was shot at 16mm, WIDE angle to get it all in as you would not have been able to otherwise, we were SO close!
After the van was freed, adrenaline running high for all of us, we all piled back in the vans. A van mate/guest yelled out "GO,GO,GO" and with that the van started pulling away as I ran up to the door. lol I was ALMOST left behind. Luckily I yelled too and they managed to slow down enough for me to throw my camera gear in and hop in while the van was still moving. lol
After all was said and done this day, we were treated to a magical ending to an incredible day...the most beautiful sunset mammatus display I have ever seen.
Shannbilss00023Sunset over a pond with a perfect reflection of bright oragnge manmatus as the storm passes in Dodge City Kansas United States
THIS was everything we were all hoping for and more. Although it narrowly missed the town of Dodge City, Kansas, out of 12 tornadoes, they did relatively little damage and there were no casualties. We never want to see anyone hurt or killed, or have their homes and belongings destroyed. This is worst case scenario and I am prepared to help when needed, if there was something I could to do to stop them from happening I would. Until we know more, I will continue to track, chase and be in awe of these amazing acts of mother nature. Seeing scenes like this brings me a certain sense of peace and energy and love the ability to share with others who can't see this. as I write this, reliving these moments brings me joy, laughter and amazement on how that day played out and everything we saw.