The Belly of the Beast, and Fire in the Sky

When most people think about storms, tornadoes and severe weather, they likely think of states like Kansas, Texas and Oklahoma.

Not Montana.

And yet, storm chasing on the High Plains of Montana is an absolutely otherworldly experience. This is because the storms that occur here often produce the most incredible colors! The aqua-green hues of this storm that occurred near the town of Baker, Montana on July 10th, 2016 was unlike anything I'd ever seen before.
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I love to look for roads leading into storms, because it makes the scene so much more visually compelling, and quiet honestly there aren't many foregrounds to choose from among the flat, desolate prairies where these storms often occur.

While I was standing here shooting this storm, tornado sirens began to blare from the nearby town. These particular sirens were the most eerie sirens I've ever heard;; I can still remember the sound to this day, it was so haunting. It just further added to the foreboding mood of such an ominous scene.

This storm fizzled out fairly quickly, but as the sun began to set on the back side, I witnessed what was truly the most incredible display of mammatus clouds I'd ever seen.

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These clouds truly stretched as far as the eye could see, and I was awestruck. It seemed like something from a dream.

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While I continued eastward with the storm toward a nearby town to check into my hotel for the night, lightning crawled across the sky endlessly. It was the most magical, hypnotizing scene, watching tendrils of lighting reach and stretch across the sky, in a web-like pattern almost like a spiderweb. I wish I'd grabbed photos, but instead I chose to soak in the moment. I never wanted it to end.

It felt like a gift from Mother Nature, just for me.

~ Jess

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26 comments
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Wow these are incredible! I would love to go storm chasing in the US!

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Thank you so much! I hope you have the opportunity one day, it will change your life!

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The colours in the sky in the first photograph are incredible! I've never seen anything like it. Wonderful set of images Jess!

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Thank you so much Cath, it was so truly surreal and wild! Almost didn't seem real!

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Wow! The greens in the sky are amazing, and those mammies!

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Haha mammies, I love it! These really were the most magical skies ever!

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Those mammatus clouds are incredible! They look good at any time but with the sunset too 😍

I like that you chose to soak in the moment. Having special times like that to yourself are important

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Golden mammatus at sunset, is there anything better? Well, maybe an epic foreground but not much to be found in the middle of nowhere lol! I do agree, it's easy to get so wrapped up in shooting that we forget to take it all in. Have to take some time to just experience the moments too.

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Man I love mammatus clouds. Hopefully one day I can come on a chase with you.

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What a magical experience! 😍 That type of cloud is very rare to see

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It truly was magical!! I felt very fortunate to witness it!

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