Rare November Storm Chase 2 Hours Into Connecticut Pays off with a Unique Shelf! – November 13, 2021
SO THIS WAS AWESOME! Oh and MY CAMERA GEAR AND EQUIPMENT IS BACK! Yup I got a brand new 24-105mm lens for my S1 camera. I have no clue if I will ever see the old one if it ever gets repaired. 😐 If I do it will be a nice backup but also with this I also got a 16 pound E-Image Tripod. Actually surprised for $300 it was as cheap as it is. I don’t like tripod with the hook or bag attachments…..that bag can sway in the wind and also it’s not easy to close down. I like tripods with a lot of shear weight to them that their weight alone with the S1 and lens hold it down. This re-vamped set up, I guess you can say for 2022 and beyond till stuff breaks again proved itself to hold up. I didn’t think I’d be able to test this till the Spring as far as storms go because this was gonna be tested first for Winter storm filming again but I will take it! So yeah 2 hours into Connecticut I went…..I RARELY RARELY go to Connecticut even though I live in Albany because CT is a nightmare state to chase and the Western 1/2 of the state is almost non-chaseable. Time lapse of the filming is at 2:47:47.
Ok so yup this was a VERY unique and quite rare late season storm system for the Northeast. This was a cold core storm that had a lot of upper energy with it. Funny enough I never would have chased this I didn’t screw up filming the storm the previous morning in Albany. I did learn the ultimate limit of the S1….it can’t handle 7 mins of extreme straight rain as the rain can leak into the in camera audio port on the top. I let that sit in the rain for an hour…..there was a weak shelf on the line I waited on at 11am after an overnight shift I did but in the end the entire video and audio were unusable so this chase I had to make up for the huge mistake. At least I know the true true extreme limits of the S1.
I didn’t have much time in all honesty to scout a location to film in Connecticut but I didn’t want to go too outrageously far from Albany. Even in the most extreme set ups….unless it is the Midwest I usually have a limit of 1 hour from Albany I usually will drive. It’s mainly because of the long drive back if you bust and also just the gas you have to burn to get out that far which even on a hybrid car like mine it’s still a lot and adds up. What I did going that far SSE is gonna be the exception to the rule I think and also if I didn’t screw up filming the day before I likely wouldn’t have chased that far South and likely just stuck around Albany…..maybe. But definitely no further than 2 hours as for sure and I stuck to that.
So I made my way through the backcountry of NY, MA, and Western CT and got to the area I scouted around the very small town of Bethlehem, CT and I did learn later that another chaser was in the same area I was but was further to the West. Someone I guess had the right idea but this spot was one of 3 I had around the Litchfield area and damn this location was FANTASTIC. It’s overlooking a long hill and you could see quite far and had a solid S-NW orientation. Actually had a slight ESE view too. I made it fairly far ahead of the storm line that already had formed in NJ and was pushing it’s way here. I got a nice long video session…..just little annoyed I had 2 idiot teens about 50 feet away that literally parked their cars in the middle of the road to do some off photoshoot and talk for like 30 mins of who knows what. 😐 It was annoying.
Fortunately they left at a good time and I got a solid continuing film session to watch this really crazy shelf cloud ahead of the line. I don’t think I ever seen a shelf that smooth as that. It likely was slightly dying out too but it was such a weird shallow top to it that it formed such a perfect gradient near the top. I don’t think I ever captured something that weird before. It was so cool! Basically just kept filming till the storm line and lightning got close and being on the hill there I didn’t want to chance a lightning strike. There was so much huge lightning on the ridge as the line moved in…I probably had 3 positive strikes as they were so loud and brighter than the others. Solid lightning at 1:31:50.
Just such a nutty storm chase and the temps were only about 55F and dew points barely touching the mid-50s. Oh and the line while it was dying on strength on approach did produce maybe a 20 mph gust or so. Overall this was a solid storm to cap off the 2021 storm season and now severe storms will have to wait till Spring. I think this makes 37 storms for the year so far and basically they are all here. Next begins Winter filming so that total could get added too. I am more picky when it comes to Winter storms. I usually will film storms that produce 8+ inches around Albany. Tiny 1-2″ inch things….nah.