Weather Pictures


Storm Chasing


Weather Pictures and Storm Chasing
Chase July 16 2003

Route:Soest - Amersfoort - Harderwijk - Dronten - Lelystad - Almere - Lelystad

A very hot day in The Netherlands! Temperatures went up to 34-36°C at some places, making it the hottest day this year so far. A convergence line crossed the southern half of the country during the afternoon, but due to lack of moisture nothing much happenend. Behind the line, winds shifted to the southwest, advecting moist air from the North Sea. This was enough for storm development over central parts of the country. At 18.30 LT I went out, as I saw towers going up to my northeast. I went to the meadows between Soest and Amersfoort and there I saw these great storms to the north and northeast. They were somewhat backbuilding to the south at this point.
I phoned my work for more information about these storms and I got told that the most active part of this storm was near Apeldoorn. Later they informed me that a whole line of storms formed near the A1 highway. I was told to go north, using the A28. And so I did. Just south of Harderwijk, I found a rest area. To the west I saw towers going up and in the north an omnious looking black sky was present. I drove further north and headed straight into very heavy rain. Lots of cars parked on the shoulder, because the drivers didn't find it save enough to drive. Well, it was not that serious, but it sure rained intense. Also, a couple of bright white CG's were visible.
I drove to Flevoland and headed further north. Just south of Dronten I got out of the rain and phoned my work again. The most intense part of the storm should be near Lelystad or Almere. The storm didn't look spectacular at this point at all, but I drove towards Lelystad, hoping to see more storm structure. Well, nothing much there either. There were some nice mammatus clouds though. The most active part of the storm looked to be over Lake IJsselmeer, but it showed signs of weakening. I thought it was better to go home and wait for the cold front, which should come later in the evening. While driving south, I saw CG's coming out of stratiform cloudmass near Almere. What's this?? I drove east near Almere Hout to get a better view and parked the car in an open field. To the north I saw CG's and crawlers from "my" first storm and to the south yellow CG's struck once in a while. I couldn't find a real storm though. Soon I saw some precipitation shafts from a very high based storm and CG's became more frequent. It was still too light for photography, but I gave it a try anyway. Bright white and very long branched channels.
I got a bit surprised by the speed the CG's were heading to my location and I had to rush back into my car to avoid being struck. And then the rain started, lots of rain! I tried to get in front of the storm again, because this was an ideal storm for lightning photography. But it was hard to find a dry spot, it looked like storms were forming just above my head. While CG's struck near my car I had to drive in cloudbursts to find a good location. Near Lelystad I gave up the idea I would find a dry spot again and so I waited for the storm to pass. That took a while and when it did got dry, most CG's were too remote unfortunately.
Near midnight I gave up the chase and drove home. There I found out that a possible supercell did damage in eastern parts of the country. Hail up to 3 cm, wind gusts to 125 km/hr and a possible tornado near Ruurlosebroek.



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© 2003 Bernard Hulshof