Storm chase on 19 July 2009
Storm chases
On 19 July, I met up again with Jüri Kamenik, as there was a risk of strong thunderstorm activity. A very warm airmass had arrived in Estonia, and now we were expecting thunder from it As usual he was driving, and I navigating on the map and checking the radar imagery every now and then. Information prior to chase indicated that the target area was Latvia and Southwest Estonia. With Latvia on minds, we started the day by going to Southwest. However, at Kabli, Pärnumaa, decision was made to go to Pärnu instead, and after being there for some time, the weather started unfolding. And it turned out we didn't need to go to Latvia afterall.

9:51 - awaiting for Jüri. Sunny skies in the village. unedited version

12:06 - As we head towards Gulf of Riga, some early activity is already occurring, as a few very high clouds were seen. However, they were quite far, already making landfall in Pärnu, and like many other cells that day, unreachable due to their high forward speed. There was thunder in the islands. (unedited version)

In Kabli, we had a good look at the Gulf and to the mainland Estonia, and decided to head to Pärnu - no need to rush. It was sunny, and a very hot day, with temperatures soaring at 27 degrees. Even 30 degrees was reported in some parts of the country. We stopped in Pärnu, and were waiting. For some time I became concerned that the forecast busted. But after 2 PM, after being in the city for an hour, and after checking latest data and reports with Jüri, things started occurring.

14:17 - Number of altocumulus clouds had appeared in the sky, some being altocumulus castellanus. I vividly remember that 9 hours before Ulila tornado of 2007, I had seen these clouds. ACC clouds indicate the threat of intense convective activity. After 3 PM the radar started indicating that intensifying cell had formed in Gulf of Riga, off Tõstamaa. (unedited version)

15:19 - We're on the road towards Tõstamaa. (unedited version)

15:38 - We take a look at the cloud on our way. By now it is rumbling. Feeling a bit of concerned over that precipitation area in the middle of the cloud, and we head a little more west.

15:38 - A little right of the previous shot. (unedited version)

15:56 - (unedited version)

15:56 - soon the precipiation arrives and hell breaks loose - the view outside resembles more of a tropical cyclone rather than a thunderstorm. (unedited version)

16:29 - (unedited version)

17:25 - (unedited version)

18:43 - Heading back to Tõstamaa area in anticipation of new round of storms and try to attempt to recover chase partner/driver's camera. (unedited version)

19:02 - Explosive convection is flaring up everywhere around the sky. (unedited version)

19:08 - (unedited version)

19:09 - (unedited version)

19:15 - (unedited version)


19:18 - (unedited version)

19:18 - As we head towards the target area, skies are really becoming Mike Hollingsheadian(in my definition - picture that looks fine even straight off the camera)


19:35 - the new system is becoming more visible

19:47 - Arrived in the spot, a shelf cloud is visible. (unedited version)

19:48 - (unedited version)

19:52 - Shelf cloud has now passed overhead, look at the zenith (unedited version)

20:20 - Looking outside as we try to catch up with the system. This is futile, it still moves too fast.(unedited version)

22:48 - Calling it a day in Adavere. While heading towards my home in Tartumaa we see distant lightning flashes. (unedited version)

More footage and also some raw video clips can be seen here