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- 2014 - June - 2nd -

Ponte Vedra photographer chases storms in Texas

  • Ponte Vedra nature and wildlife photographer Craig O’Neal spent last week with storm chasers in Texas, where they encountered tornadoes, supercells and lightning storms. At right, a sunflower field was a peaceful contrast as a strong system spawning several twisters approached Premont, Texas.

  • O’Neal said one of the most harrowing experiences came when the group was standing in the middle of a supercell and, as they looked up, they saw a rotation forming directly above them. They safely made it to the chase van. They were later told a storm chaser was killed last year near Moore, Okla., in a similar incident.

  • A classic supercell rotates along Highway 87 north of San Angelo, Texas as sirens from emergency vehicle sound warnings to local residence to take cover.

  • A supercell, sometimes called a rotating thunder storm, forms over western Texas, near the town of Sweetwater.

  • Thunderstorms rage across a large area in central Texas causing minimal damage in the wide open plains.

  • New software technology and portable tablets have replaced bulky computer screens and radar dishes in chase vehicles. Radar shows a tornadic weather system moving into south Texas.

  • A funnel cloud forms over a freeway overpass where overturned tractor trailers littered Highway 281, near Alice, Texas.

  • A tornado, also known as a tube, starts to form over an oil platform in a western Texas prairie.

Photos by Craig O\'Neal

Craig O'Neal typically shoots serene nature and wildlife photography. Last week, the Ponte Vedra photographer spent a week with professional storm chasers in central Texas. Here are a few of his photos from the trip.

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