I always smile when someone plans to visit Texas in the autumn and asks what kind of weather to expect. Considering that Texas is larger than most European countries I generally tell folks to expect temperatures from the low 40’s to the upper 80’s with humidities in the low teens to somewhere over 90%. I also tell them it may be sunny and humid one day and cold and rainy the next with winds from the south, southwest, east, southeast, west and if we’re lucky, from the north.
Most places have climate, but here in Texas we have weather with a capital “W”. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the Texas panhandle. These high plains of wheat, cotton and sorghum are home to some of the most diverse weather patterns found anywhere in America. For landscape and nature photographers, the weather in the Texas plains and canyons is darn near perfect.
On a recent seven day “safari” to the panhandle we saw several days of clear blue skies, intense thunderstorms, morning fog and afternoon clouds. Add this variety of weather to the beautiful plains and spectacular canyons in the region and you’ve got everything a photographer could ever wish for.
One afternoon we decided to drive well north and west of a developing thunderstorm and wait for it to catch up to us. It’s more than just a wee bit humbling to stand at the edge of a large ranch and watch those rolling blue thunderclouds sweep over the plains at 30 mph and head right for you. As the song goes, “I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain”.
Rolling Thunder – Claude, Texas
Copyright © 2010 Jeff Lynch Photography
Shot taken with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II set on aperture (Av) priority using an EF 17-40mm f/4L USM lens tripod mounted. The exposure was taken at 23mm, f/16 for 3/10th of a second at ISO 100 with a Singh-Ray warming polarizer filter. Post capture processing was done in Adobe’s Lightroom 3.
Click on the image above for a larger version.
View Location on Panoramio & Google Earth: Rolling Thunder – Claude, Texas