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Shock and Awe; The West Point Supercell

The 2013 storm season was notable for producing several slow moving supercells including this one on June 14th west of West Point, Nebraska. I photographed the storm as it rotated in place for approximately 30 minutes. It produced abundant cloud to ground lightning. Many of these strikes were dangerous anvil bolts such as the one below. Anvil bolts often reach out and strike the ground far away from the rotating updraft base. Still images and supercell time-lapse movie below.

7:09 pm, anvil bolt.  (purchase print)

7:12 pm, cloud to ground lightning.  (purchase print)

7:15 pm. Anvil bolt strikes a power pole to the right and simultaneously causes a power flash further down the road. This image shot with an extreme wide angle lens thus that strike is much closer than it appears. I’d estimate an 1/8th mile.

7:16 pm, cloud to ground lightning.

7:17 pm, cloud to ground lightning. (purchase print)

Play Movie! The West Point Supercell by Stephen Locke

As always please leave comments below (tell me your favorite print) and share this blog with friends!

Anne Potter Russ - December 3, 2013 - 12:34 am

Wow! As always, amazing work.

Joe DeGregorio - December 3, 2013 - 12:34 am


Shane Kirk - December 3, 2013 - 12:34 am

Awesome Stephen! It was nice running into you up there. I would have cried if I’d missed this chase day.

James Wilson - December 3, 2013 - 12:35 am


Ed Long - December 3, 2013 - 12:35 am

The video is amazing. Most of us City Dwellers never see the forest for the trees. To see a storm like that as a whole is very impressive!

Jill Green - December 3, 2013 - 12:39 am


Ed Ball - December 3, 2013 - 3:30 am

7:17… That is amazing. I want to see something like this in person.

David A. Yaeger - December 3, 2013 - 7:54 am

Stephen I was watching in amazement how when the lightning strikes hit that you were fast enough to capture many of the good ones. How in the world do you do that so well? Awesome shots too.

Ferenz Kallos - December 3, 2013 - 1:06 pm

Fantastic Work ! this music did not feel right… the image is super dramatic, and the music is too busy, it kind of “Kill” the power of the image. it is a rule in Art to put opposites together to reveal things. with such dramatic images, a super quiet music would work better. in my opinion. opposites create more interesting results than similar. Again, fabulous photography, courage, being at the right time in the perfect spot !

Lisa Blier - December 3, 2013 - 1:57 pm


Pam Vulte - December 3, 2013 - 6:16 pm


Em Là Mây - December 4, 2013 - 12:33 am

The video is amazing.

Mark G. Farmer - December 4, 2013 - 1:37 am

Amazing…..Just Amazing.!

Ali Clift - December 4, 2013 - 3:30 am

Beautiful and a little scary !

Tom Reubzaet - December 4, 2013 - 2:29 pm

Waauw. Hope the winter wil end soon!

James Stordahl - December 4, 2013 - 9:27 pm

You are a very good photographer!

Roland Delhomme - May 22, 2014 - 4:40 am

Bravo! So glad you got to catch such an amazing storm in its full glory-thanks for sharing it!

Bryan Finch - April 7, 2016 - 10:52 pm

Very cool compilation is super cell storms!

Dorothy Barger Fuller - June 23, 2016 - 1:42 pm

That is very scary. Super pictures taken by this photographer. Seemsto me like he putshimself in danger to snap them. Ireally onjoyed watching. Had never seen a picyure of a supercell. Thank you. Stephen Locke.

Paula Underwood - June 24, 2016 - 2:02 am

Well, this is what you get when you cut down all the trees.

Cherie Koerner Tober - June 24, 2016 - 12:28 pm

Would love to have the pic right before the video. Would like to frame for my meteorology son to hang in his dorm room. Please let me know how much for a copy if possible. Thanks!

Cherie Koerner Tober - June 24, 2016 - 12:29 pm

….or the second to last still shot

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