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.
Monday, June 2, 11:18 AM EDT
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.