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Photographer Mike Olbinski captures rotating supercell near Brooker, Texas


Cheryl Santa Maria
Digital Reporter

Thursday, June 13, 2013, 2:49 PM -

A supercell near Booker, Texas from Mike Olbinski on Vimeo.

Mike Olbinski has been visiting the U.S. Central Plains since 2010 in search of a rotating supercell for nearly four years -- and on June 3, 2013, he found one.

Olbinski chased the storm from north to south through hail and heavy rain. On the other side of the storm, he found this massive supercell which looked like "alien spacecraft hanging over the Earth."

The timelapse film is beautiful, no doubt -- and according to Weather Network meteorologist and Stormhunter Mark Robinson, it also has scientific merit.

It provides a "good example of a classic supercell, with a good, hard spin," Robinson says.

"Around the one minute mark, we see the storm fueling itself. This process is called inflow, which is warm, moist air entering the storm. It becomes visible because dust and debris gets pulled up from the ground. In the evening shots, we see the supercell 'bowing out' and losing its spin, transforming into a outflow dominant storm."

Olbinski, a professional photographer, says he used two cameras, a tripod and various lenses to create the film, which was shot over the course of 24 minutes.

Approximately 880 images were shot at 1-second intervals. 

"I've loved the weather ever since I was a little kid," Olbinski says.

"I still remember a lightning strike I saw sitting with my dad out on our patio. Since then, it's always been a passion. I'm fascinated by how it works and how it looks ... I can't get enough of weather and once I discovered I could capture [it] with a camera, I finally had a way to share my passion with others."

Visit Mike Olbinski's website and blog for more incredible images.


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