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20160827 – Chase Arnhem / Emmerich

Well… lets start saying the 2016 storm season issn’t the best season we ever had.. There were enough storms in this year but not really interesting of chasing them.. But every year there is one specific day that you need to chase. A day that you’ll remember as the perfect day of the year…

And I’m still waiting for that specific day in the 2016 season…

 

It started all on Saturday. Talked to Janusz on the phone for multiple times about plans.. Well.. There was nog exact plan.. The forecast calculated different scenarios so we decided to wait…

While I was preparing my gear i noticed that on our west a big storm complex started to appear. A complex we only saw from the distance because there was no possibility to catch it. At the same time looking at the radar a new storm complex started to appear in Belgium and started to move towards my hometown. So we decided to find a higher level to see it moving ahead us.

When we arrived we noticed the cell would pass us perfectly! We were out in the open with no rain and perfect view on the storm. Because of the high cloud base the lightning strikes were amazingly beautiful!

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Beautiful lightning above my home town!

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With some beautiful cloud formations!

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This is a single shot image!

Wow! finally some great storm this year! Not unique but good enough.

When the storm moved away from us we saw in the far distance some new storm. Checking our radar and saw that this was a complete new cell and was also heading our way..  Well a little bit more east. So we decided to drive in to Germany to catch this also.

We drove to Emmerich and our first stop was in the middle of a corn field with a great view of the storm that was heading our way. This cell very intense! So much lighting came down and we were thrilled to see it coming our way!

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After about 25 minutes the lighting strikes also became visible behind us.. so it started to get a little dangerous in this open corn field. When we picked up our gear a huge downburst attacked us and we started to move. When we found a dry spot and waited for core to hit us..

It started calm… with some strikes in the distance.. and very quick the lights in whole city of Emmerich (except from the industrial part) went down…

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With lights

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Without lights (the lines are passing boats over the river)

After this pictures a very, extremely, insane rain core joined the show… it was so intense that the city center wasn’t visible anymore and the lighting strikes  started to appear in the distance because of the huge amount of rain. Together with another downburst the situation started to change.

Look… I’m chasing storms now for about 9 years. I never felt scared. Yes sometimes a lightning strike was a little bit to close for comfort but i never was really scared about the situation. This night of the 27th of August changed everything. You all ever have seen a lighting strike that was very close to your position… and the very loud sound that came with it. Like something is exploding in the neighborhood. Well, inside this core there were multiple strikes like that near us.. So extremely close that I felt the electricity in the air and strikes so bright that they really blinding you for several seconds. Seeing strikes hitting you in a very close range with all the fire sparkles around the place where it was hitting the ground..  This whole moment took about 20 minutes and yes to be honest… I was scared as hell.. even I was under a wide bridge… I didn’t pie my pants or something and enjoyed every second of it. But this was a very unsafe situation! Usually in this kind of situations I’m getting in to the car… but one problem.. the car wasn’t under the bridge because there was a truck parked who was probably taking shelter who blocked us to get under this bridge. So our car was out in the open…

Okay… after about 20 minutes (what actually looked like 5 minutes) the core passed us and the strikes started to hit the other side of the river and I felt a bit more save and started to make pictures again…

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Every year there is one specific day that you need to chase. A day that you’ll remember as the perfect day of the year…
This wil probably that perfect day of 2016… but who knows what wil happen in the final weeks of this season…

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