On our second night we were heading back to the Badlands to watch the sun set over Panorama Point when we saw a massive storm front moving in from the west. It was fast moving, large, and had a massive amount of lighting. Growing up in the midwest I've seen large thunderstorms my entire life but the storms we say on this trip had a size and structure that was consistently impressive.
We were actually quite lucky with the timing of the storm. The storm cell had enough altitude that we could still make out the setting sun below the storm. This dramatic backlighting created the gorgeous colors up above.
After a bit we drove back to our hotel to call it a night. The storm drifted just a bit to the north just as the lightning picked up again. This is a 2 minute exposure taken from our hotel parking lot. Not the most scenic location in South Dakota perhaps, but it was time for my daughter to head to bed because we has to wake AM in order to make it back to the Badlands to catch the sunrise. Sometime the only thing you can do is make the most of a tough situation.
A few days later we were driving through Wyoming when the exact opposite lighting situation presented itself. In this case the storm was in front of me and the sun was low and behind me. What captured my attention were the sheets of rain that were crashing down. It looked like a waterfall in the sky. This rain served two purposes. One, it looked really cool. Two, it blocked most of the light from passing through the storm which darkened the background and allowed these sheets of water to really stand out.
I've never tried chasing storms before. I've enjoyed seeing the dramatic photographs that bad weather can produce but after seeing these kinds of storms in person I have to say that you may find me out on the road chasing them again in the near future.