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Images show the U.S. being battered by storms in 2017

The past 12 months have been intense for the stormchasers of the United States as 2017 brought a myriad of hurricanes, tornadoes and thunderstorms. 

Jason Weingart has been an avid storm chaser for more than eight years, but says 2017 has been a particularly challenging year, especially due to the hurricanes that have devastated various countries. 

Between April and May alone, Mr Weingart witnessed an incredible 14 tornadoes as he chased storm after storm, and said this year has been one of his toughest. 

Thunderbolt and lighting: A cloud-to-ground lightning captured on June 24 at the U.S.-Mexico border

Very, very frightening: An intra-cloud lightning - a lightning that takes place between the top and bottom clouds of a thunderstorm is pictured on March 24 in Brenham, Texas

Very, very frightening: An intra-cloud lightning – a lightning that takes place between the top and bottom clouds of a thunderstorm is pictured on March 24 in Brenham, Texas

Top to bottom: A cloud to ground lightning captured during a thunderstorm on July 31 in Safford, Arizona

Top to bottom: A cloud to ground lightning captured during a thunderstorm on July 31 in Safford, Arizona

He has captured these stunning images which include breathtaking lightning at the Mexico-US border, intra-cloud lighting in Texas and a thunderstorm over Lake Powell, Arizona

Mr Weingart said: ‘The most memorable storm of the year was the swarm of tornadoes that occurred on April 29th near Canton, Texas.

‘It was one of those days that looked very marginal in the morning but as the day progressed, everything came together to create a prolific localized tornado outbreak.’

In the month of May, the storm chaser saw a supercell in New Mexico, a mesocyclone in Colorado and some breathtaking lightning in Oklahoma.

Hurricane Harvey, which formed on August 17 and dissipated on September 3, hit Texas and Louisiana with devastating effect and caused billions of dollars worth of damage. 

Beautiful danger: A thunderstorm can be seen in the distance over  Lake Powell on July 29 in Arizona

Beautiful danger: A thunderstorm can be seen in the distance over Lake Powell on July 29 in Arizona

Capturing the moment: This stunning photograph shows cloud to ground lightning captured during a May thunderstorm that took place in Boise, Oklahoma.

Capturing the moment: This stunning photograph shows cloud to ground lightning captured during a May thunderstorm that took place in Boise, Oklahoma.

Like magic: A powerful lighting bolt strikes the ground in the famous Monument Valley on a July day in Arizona

Like magic: A powerful lighting bolt strikes the ground in the famous Monument Valley on a July day in Arizona

The best one: This timelapse photo of mammatus clouds  in O'Neill, Nebraska is storm-chaser Jason Weingart's favourite

The best one: This timelapse photo of mammatus clouds in O’Neill, Nebraska is storm-chaser Jason Weingart’s favourite

Havoc: A landspout tornado in Elk City, Oklahoma, and an elephant trunk tornado in McLean, Texas, both pictured in May

Short and powerful: A Gustnado - a 'gust front tornado' that looks like a tornado but is a thunderstorm - is pictured by Mr Weingart on May 26, in Kirk, Colorado

Short and powerful: A Gustnado – a ‘gust front tornado’ that looks like a tornado but is a thunderstorm – is pictured by Mr Weingart on May 26, in Kirk, Colorado

Stunning views: A sunset lit shelf cloud is pictured on July 30,  in Vail, Arizona

Stunning views: A sunset lit shelf cloud is pictured on July 30, in Vail, Arizona

Mr Weingart attempted to follow Harvey’s path but struggled to keep up with seemingly unstoppable storm.

He said: ‘Chasing Hurricane Harvey was especially difficult. It was just one of those storms that never ended.

‘Intercepting the eyewall of a Category 4 hurricane was intense, but nothing prepared me for assisting in high water rescues in Houston.

‘Venturing into those flood waters was the scariest moment of my life. Way worse than any tornado I have seem, including the largest in recorded history.’

Although 2017 has been a tough year in storm chasing, Mr Weingart says has also seen some stunning displays of nature’s fiercest weather. 

Superpowers: A supercell - a rare but very powerful thunderstorm - is pictured on May 09 in Tatum, New Mexico

Superpowers: A supercell – a rare but very powerful thunderstorm – is pictured on May 09 in Tatum, New Mexico

All hail the storm: A large hail is seen falling in the core of a thunderstorm  on May 26, in Cope, Colorado

All hail the storm: A large hail is seen falling in the core of a thunderstorm on May 26, in Cope, Colorado

Big fan: Jason Weingart has been an avid storm chaser for more than eight years, capturing weather events such as this  supercell with wall cloud in March, in Brenham, Texas

Big fan: Jason Weingart has been an avid storm chaser for more than eight years, capturing weather events such as this  supercell with wall cloud in March, in Brenham, Texas

Identified flying object: A mesocyclone - a vortex of air within a convective storm - seen on May 18,  in Enid, Oklahoma

Identified flying object: A mesocyclone – a vortex of air within a convective storm – seen on May 18, in Enid, Oklahoma

Tornado coming through: A strong tornado is seen lofting trees  in Canton, Texas in April this year

Tornado coming through: A strong tornado is seen lofting trees  in Canton, Texas in April this year

Incoming: A Mesocyclone storm cell is pictured on May 26, in Kirk, Colorado. The size of the storm becomes clear when compared to the farm pictured bottom left

Incoming: A Mesocyclone storm cell is pictured on May 26, in Kirk, Colorado. The size of the storm becomes clear when compared to the farm pictured bottom left

He said: ‘My favourite timelapse is the mammatus clouds on June 13th in O’Neill, Nebraska.

‘It was an especially tough chase day, very long drive. We called it quits a few hours before as storms were congealing into a line and the tornado threat was diminished.

‘We noticed the mammatus, barely visible lit by the bright sun, but once the sun got near the horizon, the true beauty of the sky was revealed.

‘It was a perfect scene; no danger, no fear. Just cameras and an incredible sky, to me that’s what storm chasing is all about.’

Red, white and blue: A particularly patriotic mesocyclone and smooth channel lightning pictured in Enid, Oklahoma

Red, white and blue: A particularly patriotic mesocyclone and smooth channel lightning pictured in Enid, Oklahoma

Pretty picture: A Supercell thunderstorm pictured in the sky over a field of bluebonnets on March 24, in Brenham, Texas

Pretty picture: A Supercell thunderstorm pictured in the sky over a field of bluebonnets on March 24, in Brenham, Texas

Chasing the dream: Mr Weingart witnessed an incredible 14 tornadoes in April and May, such as this collar cloud and cone tornado pictured on May 18, in Waynoka, Oklahoma

Chasing the dream: Mr Weingart witnessed an incredible 14 tornadoes in April and May, such as this collar cloud and cone tornado pictured on May 18, in Waynoka, Oklahoma

Come rain or shine: A monsoon thunderstorm is pictured on July 29,  in Safford, Arizona

Come rain or shine: A monsoon thunderstorm is pictured on July 29, in Safford, Arizona

Electrifying: A cloud wall pictured in Naper, Nebraska, in mid-June this year

Electrifying: A cloud wall pictured in Naper, Nebraska, in mid-June this year

Colourful display: A white clouded Mesocyclone pictured on May 10 in Vernon, Texas

Colourful display: A white clouded Mesocyclone pictured on May 10 in Vernon, Texas



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