Posted on

Latest Chases and Upcoming Chases

Well I have had 2 succesfull chases this year.  One particular chase took place June 3rd 2009, starting in Rexburg and then I drove to the 15 and headed South to around Blackfoot.  I encountered 1 inch hail and was afraid the windhield or van might get damaged. I got lucky to say the least.  Once i got out of the hail I noticed a storm to my south was developing and had a wall cloud.

Pictures here.

http://www.severeidaho.com/gallery/thumbnails.php?album=50

The storm was Severe Warned for hail and wind and in the warning there was mention of slight rotation.  I watched from Right off the Interstate 15 Highway till the storm eventually weakened and got into the Highlands/Mountains.

Video Here.

You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video

There was also June 5 2009,  The Incredible Complex Line of storms that moved North and stayed mainly in the Snake River plain.  As the Line progressed North the Storm filled in from West to East and Intensified.  By the time It reached Idaho Falls it went severe and the fun began.  I filmed and shot photos from my Backyard all the way till the storm got directly overhead.  The storm was warned for winds and possible hail and there was also rotation.  63mph winds occured over my area along with Pea sized hail and a few slightly larger than 1/4 inch.

Pictures here.

http://www.severeidaho.com/gallery/thumbnails.php?album=51

Video Here.

You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video

There are storms predicted thru next week and occasional Strong to Severe thunderstorms are possible.  On days that storms can develop from strong to severe I will be active trying to get footage.  Its an active year so far and we are only in June.

Keep an eye on the youtube channel and Photo Gallery for updates.  I know I havent been updating this blog lately and will try to fit in more time to update you guys on whats going on.

Have a great Weekend and keep checking back for new photos and video.

-gerrit

Posted on

How to Capture Lightning Photos with your Camcorder or video camera.

I noticed my Tutorial on Photographing lightning has been getting many hits a day.  I figured I might as well share my secret on getting lightning photos with a camcorder or video camera.  Believe it or not, 30% of my photos were actually part of a video that I recorded.  This method will no doubt make Lightning photography very simple even during the day.  The biggest challenge with daytime lightning photographs is trying to eliminate the light of the day and still be able to capture a light source (lightning).  With a camcorder you eliminate exposure and fstop settings and will get a quality image each time. 

Here are the pro’s of Lightning shots from a Video camera.

1. you dont have to worry about timing the lightning to catch it.  Just have your camcorder recording in the direction of the storm.

2. Depending on the size of tape or disk or memory card on your camcorder the more time you can sit back , relax and let the camcorder do all the work.

I can list many more as well.

 

Now for some Cons……..

1. Quality of a lightning photos from video compared to an actual photograph from a camera will vary.  Camcorders are slowly getting higher frames per second and this will allow for better clarity of your image, however if your using a 7+ megapixel Camera the video photos will look like 3 or 4 megapixel photos.  However you will have more lightning shots comapred to just a digital camera.

2. You need to know how to Transfer your video to your Computer with either a firewire or usb transfer which could take a while.

3. You end up doing more work for the finished product compared to a digital camera which produces your shot immediately, however with a camcorder you are cheating and the extra work should be worth it. 

 

LETS MOVE ON……………….

Things you will need.

1. Camcorder

2. Tripod  ( if you dont have a tripod then set your camera on a flat surface.  Any video with lightning while the camcorder is moving will result in a blurry image.

3. Virtual Dub software (free software)  http://virtualdub.sourceforge.net/

4. Image editor to paste the captured frame.

5 Common sense and weather knowledge.  Dont risk your life for a shot.  If you can do your recording from a car or under a roof then do it.  Dont be the only person in the middle of an open field while lightning is striking all around you.  PLEASE NOTE:  While I write this tutorial to help you achieve the ultimate, I cannot be held responsible for any injury caused to you or death from use of this guide.  I write this in hopes that you practice any activity during a storm as safe as you can as I do myself. 

 

Waiting for the storm…..

Assuming you know your way around Radar software and weather forecasts as well as the storm prediction centers forecast tools  (    http://www.spc.noaa.gov/exper/    ) I will believe that you know when a storm is expected.   WHEN you have a storm in range set your camcorder on your tripod with a fuilly charged battery in the direction of the lightning.  Also note that the storm is always moving so move your camcorder with the storm or in the direction of the most active lightning.  Try to watch the storm while the camcorder is recording.  With every lightning bolt try to remember the time on the tape (this will help in the production stage).  After you are pleased with an amount of lightning recorded on your camcorder simply take everything inside, its now time to see what you got.

PRODUCTION STAGE………………

After you have transfered your media to your pc and have installed VIRTUAL DUB (see things you need) it is now time to see the lightning bolts.

1 .     OPEN VIRTUAL DUB

2 .    Load your Video and let Virtual Dub do its thing when opening the video file. 

PRESS PLAY………………………………….

FIND FRAME WHERE LIGHTNING SHOWS IN FULL.  [[PLEASE NOTE]] YOU WILL HAVE MANY FRAMES OF LIGHTNING FOR EVERY BOLT.  MAKE SURE TO GO FORWARD A FEW CLICKS OR BACK A FEW CLICKS TO CHOOSE THE OPTIMIM VIEW.

GO TO VIDEO TAB THEN “COPY SOURCE FRAME TO CLIPBOARD”

 

Now you need to open your image editor and Paste the Frame into the editor.  Mostly Right click and paste as new image or use “edit tab” and paste image. 

 

Your end result will be

 

I hope you find this tutorial very helpful.  If you have any questions please leave a comment or email me and I will be glad to help. 

 

Have fun out there and sTay SAFE…….

 

-gerrit gulden

Posted on

July 15 2008 Monsoon Update

Have you noticed the Heat lately and the latest intrusion of Clouds.  This is all Monsoonal Moisture that has made it into our area.  The Monsoon is actually wreaking havoc in parts of California where they had Mudslides and one of these incidents even tore thru a very Popular Fishing Hatchery off the 395 highway which devastated there trout inventory.  There was even a tornado reported in Southern California.  So the Monsoon is definetely active in the Southwest.  What will it be like for our area?  Thus far local NWS has mention of thunderstorms for mostly higher terrain including the Wy/Mo borders.  For our immediate area we seem to be stuck in the wind zone and with very low humidities we are currently under a Red flag warning and fire watch.  If the storms that pop up over the higher terrain have any dry lightning we will definetely see the beginning of the fire season starting tonight and into tomorrow.  There is always that chance that these storms could roll off from the Southwest into our area moving Northeast.  If this occurs we will see strong downburst winds and maybe some ehavy downpours and dangerous Cloud to ground lightning. 

If you didnt know already, There are several Monsoon stormchasers chasing the storms from Arizona and into Nevada and I will be adding there links here so you can go visit them and see the wonders of the Southwest Monsoon.  First off,  My Favorite Monsoon stormchaser/lightning photographer Susan Strom is busy chasing these storms.  Be sure to visit http://www.lightninglady.com/ for some Amazing Lightning Photographs. 

So will the Monsoon create Thunderstorms and lightning for us?  The easiest way to answer this is is to Mention the 4 corner highs.  If the 4 corner high sets up perfectly with a low to the southwest of California we will definetely be seeing some storms.  The current setup is just enough for a very small amount of Moisture to make it to our region.  With a stronger push of Moisture we will get humid, very hot and then the chances for a storm is Ideal.  So keep those fingers crossed.

In the mean time, please go visit http://www.severeidaho.com/gallery/thumbnails.php?album=7 to see the lightning I captured on July 8th. 

Also Visit http://www.severeidaho.com/gallery/thumbnails.php?album=41 to see Firework photos from Rigby Lake. 

Have a Great week and stay cool out there. 

 

-gerrit

Posted on

The Latest with SevereIdaho.Com and Local Weather

Well it has been about 12 days since I last updated this Blog.  With good reason of course.  The weather has been on and off but when its on its wild.  On August 16th we had a Very active Afternoon and Evening.  One of which brought very frequent lightning and barely a drop of rain.  I did manage to capture up to 20 new photos of Lightning and cloud structure.  The lightning was simply amazing, there was thousands of Cloud to ground bolts along with many Crawlers and Cloud only lightning.  I was able to capture many CG bolts and even witness a Transformer blowing from a deadly cg.  The day started at around 3pm and lasted well into 3am.  I was busy the whole day driving around and picking spots for good lightning shots and keeping up with the stronger storms.  I did manage to Get on KIDK3 on August 17th at Noon and soon to be on the Postregister (Sunday or Monday’s Edition).  August 17th was also busy, but the storms were more towards the wet stuff which makes photography a little more rougher due to Exposing expensive cameras to rain which we all know is not smart.  Today was a hell of a day.  A Severe Thunderstorm watch was posted for Southeast Idaho and around 8+ Severe Storms occured.  The biggest concern was damaging wind, then large hail and then Excessive amounts of rain.  No Severe Thunderstorms occured in my immediate area.  They occured Mostly South of Idaho Falls to the Utah Border and east towards Wyoming.  Not really any reports on the SPC website.  One Tornado warning did occur south of Pocatello, but I havent heard of any confirmations of a tornado, let alone a funnel.  I did not get any footage today or yesterday.  The storms werent severe enough for me to chase down.  In other words I prefer Cloud structure of a Meso or tornadic storm rather than damaging my car with hail the size of golfballs. lol.  There was just too much rain as well. 

Another Huge concern is the latest Hurricane “Dean”.  Hurricane Dean is a Category 4 hurricane and is expected to Hit Jamaica by Sunday and the Island could see alot of damage with this storm if it infact stays at a Category 4 storm.  Latest News is that if Dean hits Jamaica head on then the Island could be without power for up to a month.  Several Hurricane chasers are already in Jamaica and several have mentioned that Jamaica Residents have not done the necessary Precautions such as Boarding up windows, etc etc.  This could be a very dangerous situation.  Current Hurricane Models are forecasting a track which could Impact the far SouthEastern Tip of Texas.  Since I have friends there in Brownsville I am watching this storm like crazy.  Although SevereIdaho.Com doesnt focus its Attention to Areas outside of Idaho we still make our best attempt to Inform the public of Dangerous situations such as Hurricane and other Tropical Weather phenomena.  We hope to keep you updated throughout this Tropical Season but we ask that you rely on the National Hurricane Center and National News, etc for Weather Info that relates directly to your location.  Thanks. 

The latest with SevereIdaho.Com is that we have up to 30 New photos from August 16th and Early 17th in the Gallery and The Weather Forum has been opened up to the public.  We dont anticipate a Climb in visitors yet on the forum and Do plan to do some Advertising to get more people to the forum.  

 

Stay Tuned.  More Updates on Dean and Local Weather coming soon.  Thanks for stopping by….

A Few New Photos for your Enjoyment.

August 16th Weather

August 16th Lightning

 

August 16th Thunderstorm Cloud Looking towards Ririe from Rigby.

 

Please visit  http://www.severeidaho.com/gallery/thumbnails.php?album=7  For the Latest 2007 Photography. 

-gerrit