My Current Weather

Thursday, July 21, 2022

Shooting Lightning Photos During A Haboob - Carlsbad, NM 7-21-2022.

Shot From C-Hill In Carlsbad, New Mexico.

Another blistering hot day in SE NM today. I recorded a high temp here at our home in Carlsbad on my Davis Vantage Pro Plus Wireless Personal Weather Station of 103º. The Carlsbad ASOS reported 102º. 

Just before sunset a nice energetic thunderstorm blew up northeast of Carlsbad and started heading southwest. It missed us here in town but dropped nickel to quarter size hail along with strong winds in Loving 12 miles southeast of us. 

Off I go to C-Hill on the west side of town to try and get some lightning shots. This has not been my year for lightning shots. I bought a MIOPS Smart Lightning Trigger for my Nikon D5600. We aren't getting along. I can't get the stupid thing to fire most of the time so back to the drawing board for my research. 

Tonight's issues were interesting to say the least. This thunderstorm quickly became severe as it rolled through Loving. Along with the hail and half of an inch of rain it dumped on them it also produced a haboob. Which of course traveled northwest into Carlsbad during my lightning photo session.

 Trying to get my light settings right along with my manual exposure settings was a nightmare in the 40-50 mph wind gusts, blowing dust, with reduced visibility and sky obscurement. The visibility at the airport 6 miles to my south-southeast was down to 2.5 miles and I estimated about 1-2 miles in town. 

I finally gave up on my lightning trigger and shot these three photos the old-fashioned way. Set the camera in manual mode and open the lens. Sadly I spent most of my time fighting with my lightning trigger instead of concentrating on the storm. Of course, the best lightning strikes occurred when I was arguing with the trigger and not paying attention to the storm. 

And on top of all of this, I forgot that I grabbed my Go Pro camera and forgot to set up it for some time-lapse shots. I hate technology sometimes especially when chasing. This is why I never really got into live streaming when storm chasing. You end up wasting your time fighting with your cameras, internet connections, etc. Instead of enjoying the beauty of the moment during the storm. And trying not to get killed by the things. Oh yeah, it was still 95º at 8:30 PM when I started shooting so I was watching for rattlesnakes...another distraction. 

The blowing dust and sky instrument provided an interesting backdrop for two of my photos along with the city lights. 

Live and learn with better luck next time...I hope. Oh yeah, not a drop of rain at our home in town and so my year-to-date rainfall total stands at 2.47" Only about 4 inches below normal. Think rain, pray for rain, wash your vehicles, do rain dances, something. This drought and excessive is beyond old!

There Are None So Blind As Those Who "Will - Not" To See...107.

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