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Author Archives: Caleb

The Cyclone Ranger

A man from Kansas with an obsession for supercell storms and tornadoes tells his tales in the Cyclone Ranger web series episodes. From blown radiators and shady western Kansas hotels to the splendor of supercell timelapse cinematography, Mr. Locke combines his expertise and passion to bring you one of the most original and outstanding portrayals of storm chasing.

In episode 1, the Cyclone Ranger, appropriately titled “Hot and Bothered Across Kansas”, opens up with the daunting task of storm chasing with a blown radiator and the obsessive drive that it takes in order to push on towards his storm.

Hot and Bothered in Kansas

In episode 2, we are rejoined with the Cyclone Ranger as his trek leads us through north central Nebraska. Dubbed “The Kraken”, Stephen captures some of the most amazing time lapse video I have ever seen of the Coleridge, NE tornado, Laurel, NE tornado, and Hartington, NE supercell storm that took place on June 17, 2014.

The Kraken

With the release of episode 3, “Siren’s Storm”, the Cyclone Ranger introduces you Erickson, NE supercell storm and the Pilger, NE tornadoes. Episode 3 focuses on June 16, 2014.

Siren's Song

Make sure you follow Stephen Locke and his alter-ego, The Cyclone Ranger, as there are more episodes yet to be released.

Wx-Pilot’s Top 10 Stunning Storm Chasing Photos Since 2011

Chasing Storms in a Plane - La Crosse, KS 5/25/12

aerial storm chasing

Tornado from a Plane - Russell, KS 5/25/12

aerial storm chasing

The Wakita, OK Supercell - 9/17/11

Wakita 2011 - Buy this Print

Pilger, NE Deadly Twin Tornadoes - 6/16/14


The Guthrie, OK Supercell - 5/30/13

Guthrie, Oklahoma - 5.30.2013 - Buy this Print

Lightning and Lasers - Cameron, MO August 2012

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Fire and Sky - April 2014

Missouri Sunset

The West Point, NE Supercell - 6/14/13

Titan -  Buy this Print

The Russell, KS Storm from a plane - 5/25/12

aerial storm chasing

The Pilger-West Tornado. 6/16/14

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Which one is your favorite?

Amazing Aerial Footage of the Pilger Nebraska Tornado Damage

widespread damage devastation Pilger Nebraska Tornado

An amazing and devastating aerial view of the tornado damage path that took place on 6/16/2014 as twin EF4 tornadoes tore through Pilger, NE and surrounding areas.

Amazing Aerial view of Pilger Tornado Damage

I was storm chasing this day and you can see the twin tornadoes from my perspective in the video below. I have never seen anything like this in my life and because of how rare this weather scenario is, two violent EF4 tornadoes on the ground at the same time, I doubt I will ever witness such an amazing, yet, terrifying tornado weather event in like this in my life

6/16/2014 - Twin Tornadoes Pilger Nebraska

October is #BreastCancerAwareness month.  Want to show your support? For the rest of October any purchase of this Cumulus #Mammatus cloud print will have a portion of the proceeds donated to the American Cancer Society.



NEW Lightning Photos – Oct 8, 2014

A great lightning show was on display on the night of October 8th, 2014.  Tropical Storm Simon remnants made their way across the midwest which produced copious amounts of rainfall and the best lightning display that I have witnessed in 2014.


Massive Static – Lightning Photography

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Two Bolts – Lightning Photography 

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Storms a comin’ – Lightning Photography 

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Out of the Sky – Lightning Photography 

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The storms continued track east but the lightning never ceased for over an hour and a half.  The night sky was alive and fully charged!


Static Discharge – Lightning Photography 

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Large Bolts – Lightning Photography



I saw an opportunity for storm chasing on Sept 9th, 2014 in southeast Nebraska and northwest Kansas.  A quick check of the weather models and I made my way towards my target area.  Along the warm front, it appeared that storms were struggling to maintain development in the area that I had chosen.  So I pressed further west and south.  I watched a small storm start putting down some awesome looking CG lightning strikes along with a developing wall cloud!  The storm was not warned but I decided to investigate anyways.  The lightning show was great but the wall cloud quickly occluded and the storm moved on.  I ended up following this storm back to my home and shot lightning when the opportunities arose.

Maryville Kansas wall cloud

Maryville Kansas wall cloud

Kansas Lightning

Kansas Lightning

Lightning in Kansas

Lightning in Kansas

I watched a line of storms develop early this morning (9/3/2014) and thought to myself “This could be fun”!  I was hoping that the storms would have arrived at my house well before sunrise since, in my opinion, the best lightning images happen at night when you can view the most branching off of the main stroke.  I guess these storms didn’t feel like putting on a performance as they took their sweet time getting to me.  Ha.  They arrived around 10:00am.  This is what I managed to squeeze out of them using my Canon T3i and NeroTrigger lightning trigger.

I also witnessed one of the most beautifully arrayed sunrises I have seen in a long time.

Get your copy of these awesome prints by clicking the link in the picture description.



A beautiful group of storms moved through the middle portion of Missouri, near Kansas City, and gave me an excellent display for some amazing lightning photography.  Get your prints below!





Gilman City, MO Tornado Chase - Mammatus Clouds-6/30/2014

Gilman City, MO Tornado Chasing – 6/30/2014

A small group of outflow boundaries mixed with an advancing cold front from the northwest made for a great day in north central Missouri to chase storms. The possibility of tornadoes was fairly high up in Iowa along I80, however, the storms fired a bit early and a resulting derecho formed causing wind damage through parts of Iowa and Illinois.

I chased a discrete storm that formed near Bethany, MO. I made my way out in front of it and positioned myself in the hook. Several wall clouds and some broad rotation were observed but I never could confirm any ground circulation mostly due to trees and terrain.

The storm eventually went outflow dominant and with no other storms taking on supercell characteristics, I decided to call the chase and head home. Storms were firing along the cold front but cold fronts are not big tornado producers due to the undercutting nature of the cold front. The storms were not severe when I intercepted them and I figured I would try to at least get a nice lightning shot. Checking the radar, I noticed a small area of rotation that was just to my southwest. So I jumped on the interstate and pushed south to get a better look. Keep in mind, FROPA (FROntal PAssage) had already occurred at this point. Again, due to their undercutting nature, cold front storms are fairly non-conducive to tornadogenisis.

Gilman City, MO Tornado Chase - 6/30/2014

Gilman City, MO Tornado Chase – 6/30/2014

However, as I made my way south along I35 a feature in the rain began to form. The rain tapered and to my surprise there was a rotating wall cloud with a nice bowl funnel crossing the highway a few miles to my south. I was impressed! I figured I might see a wall cloud but a full fledged funnel? Thankfully, there was an exit just to the south of the mesocyclone.

I took H highway towards Gilman City, MO in Harrison county and paralleled this developing tornado. It was a fairly weak tornado but it was still a good tornado! As soon as I saw the ground circulation, I phoned Clinton county emergency manager (Corey Sloan) as I knew he could relay a report to the NWS. He took down my report and within minutes Pleasant Hill NWS was calling me to confirm what I was watching. They promptly issued a tornado warning for the storm I was on.

A while later, I spotted another tornado (a very weak tornado) just north of Chillicothe. It was probably a good mile or more away from me but it was weakening and moving right at me so I positioned myself just a few yards to the south of where I thought it would be. It kept coming towards me. The funnel was easy to see as it moved over the top of me.

After all was said and done, I was treated to the best lightning display I have seen since 2011!

Gilman City, MO Tornado Chase - 6/30/2014-lightning2

Gilman City, MO Tornado Chase – 6/30/2014-lightning2