Amazing time-lapse video captures the fearsome beauty of a supercell thunderstorm


posted Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 2:01 PM EST

If you're trapped beneath one, a supercell -- sometimes known as a rotating thunderstorm -- can be a terrifying thing. Beneath the ominously swirling cloud you'll often findyourself facing torrential rain or hail, strong winds, lightning, and floods, not to mention the risk of tornadoes. Seen from the safety  of your living room, though, a supercell thunderstorm can be a surprisingly beautiful thing.

Before we can share in that experience, somebody first has to film it. Luckily for us, Phoenix-based wedding photographer Mike Olbinski is also an enthusiastic storm chaser who enjoys experiencing -- and recording -- that beauty up close and personally. Alongside the wedding photos on his website, Olbinski has a section devoted to his absolutely spectacular storm photos, but after four years of unsuccessful attempts he's just topped them all.

Phoenix wedding photographer and storm chaser Mike Olbinski shot this spectacular time lapse earlier this month in Booker, Texas.

Olbinski came face to face with a supercell near Booker, Texas earlier this month, and brought home a truly amazing trio of time-lapse videos showing both the beauty and ferocity of the storm. In a post on his blog, he sums up the excitement of the day -- and of getting the shot -- rather nicely:

"Seeing something like this has been a longtime goal of mine. This was my fourth year chasing in the plains and I’ve never come CLOSE to this kind of structure. Pictures don’t do it justice. This was with a 14mm lens. It seems like it’s far away and safe, but in reality it was crazy close and we were ready to bail at any moment.

When I finally had all the cameras going and sat back to just take it all in…tears filled my eyes. I yelled with joy at the top of my lungs, I gave Andy a big hug, thanking him for picking this spot almost a week before as our target location. We heard other chasers nearby hooting and hollering as well. It was a magnificent moment."

Watch Mike Olbinski's amazing supercell time-lapse video above, and when you're done, check out his website for more great storm photos and timelapse videos! If you're a fan of storms and storm chasers, you'll also want to take a look at this recent article about photographer Camille Seaman, who funds her storm-chasing expeditions through Kickstarter.

(via Twisted Sifter)