Getting the Perfect Shot with Kestrel Weather Meters: A Look into Severe Weather Photography

Getting the Perfect Shot with Kestrel Weather Meters: A Look into Severe Weather Photography

If you've ever looked outside on a stormy night, lightning illuminates the sky in an eye-catching display. Severe weather photographers like Dave Mayhew capture these incredible moments. However, the process isn't as simple as staking out with your camera on a stormy day.

This is an inside story on severe weather photography's workings and how Kestrel plays a role in getting the perfect shot.

"Storm Chasing for me is about seeing nature at its most beautiful. Each storm is unique, providing new and diverse photo opportunities. The goal of a chase for me is therefore to be witness to spectacular skies and not necessarily to see a tornado, otherwise I would frequently be disappointed."
-David Mayhew

Finding Stormy Skies

Part of severe weather photography is being at the right place at the right time. Some may call it luck, but you can improve your chances by tracking those storms with technologies such as a Kestrel 5500 Weather Meter or the Kestrel Storm Chaser Kit.

One example of this is a gustnado. Mayhew has personal experience chasing down gustnados - a short-lived vortex that forms within a thunderstorm's downburst.

Coming in at speeds of 110 MPH, gustnados are fascinating yet largely intimidating displays. However, these are weak compared to tornados, which typically throw dust and debris into the air.

However, this doesn't make gustnados any less fascinating to photograph. Mayhew used his Kestrel Weather Meter to track wind speed and dew point, so he could follow the storm and get the perfect shot for his portfolio

Measuring and Tracking Severe Weather

When it comes to tracking severe weather, Kestrel Weather Meters are the most accurate devices available on the market. They provide live readings of the most crucial measurements for severe weather, such as wind speed, dew point, relative humidity, and barometric pressure.

When it comes to wind speed, it must be at least 58 MPH to be considered severe.

Other defining wind speeds of severe weather include:

  • Strong Wind Gusts - Thunderstorm wind gusts between 39 mph and 57 mph.
  • Damaging Wind Gusts - Severe thunderstorm wind gusts between 58 mph and 74 mph.
  • Very Damaging Wind Gusts - Severe thunderstorm wind gusts between 75 mph and 91 mph which causes moderate damage.
  • Violent Wind Gusts - Severe thunderstorm wind gusts greater than 92 mph (80 knots or greater) causing major damage.

In addition to tracking wind speed, another defining factor of potential severe weather is the dew point.

Ample moisture is needed for the development of severe weather. A higher dew point means more moisture in the air, which is an element that storm chasers rely on when searching for storms.

Barometric pressure can also help predict severe weather. High-pressure systems typically lead to warm and sunny weather, while low pressure is connected to stormy weather.

Kestrel Weather Meter Barometric Pressure

Whether you're a novice storm chaser or you're looking to step into the world of severe weather photography, Kestrel Weather Meters are your perfect companion. Kestrel Instruments has everything you need to follow severe storms and predict the weather, even when that weather changes on a dime. Explore the line of Kestrel Weather Meters, equipped with features such as wind speed and direction tracking, dew point, humidity, Wet Bulb Temperature, and much more.

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