During the day things were starting to look pretty good so we decided to head out around 5:30. Our choice was either Drayton Valley or due west out towards Wabamun. Initially it looked like Drayton Valley would be the spot but Nevin has a rule, don’t chase Drayton until storms are past it…because they always die. And that’s just what happened.
We met at a parking lot in west Edmonton and Nevin & I hopped in my car, Jeff & mike went in Jeff’s truck. Heading out to Wabamun, things were looking not bad. Not great, but not bad. We drove in to town and headed to the boat launch dock.
Jeff and Mike set up their cameras and shot a couple of timelapses, Nevin and I watched the storm and took a few camera photos. Things started to look a bit interesting around 6:45pm (there was even a little bit of rotation!) but we could see on radar that a nicely defined gust front was minutes from us.
The breeze picked up (but nothing severe) and almost immediately, the structure we were seeing began to dissipate. Nevin says gust fronts are like the final exhalation of a dying storm. Nice metaphor but too bad we got to experience it so soon into the chase.
The only other possibility for the night was up by Mayerthorpe, but it was a 40 minute drive, the storm looked to be weakening…and trees. So many trees.
We headed back to Edmonton around 7:45 and called it a night.
Was it a spectacular night? No. But the storm was pretty for a while, the viewing vantage point was lovely and the company was good. Did Jeff catch a shot for the project? probably not but you never know.
We look forward to heading out again soon.
(note these are all phone shots taken by Jay)