Light Up the Night

Dallas photographers exploit cool thunderhead cloud for visual thrills

Dallas photographers exploit cool thunderhead cloud for visual thrills

Dallas thunderhead cloud
Photographer David Worthington caught this "thunderhead" cloud over the downtown Dallas skyline. Photo by David Worthington
Dallas cloud
Photographer Kristina Bowman caught the cloud in the early stages of its brief but captivating lifespan. Photo courtesy of Kristina Bowman
Dallas thunderhead cloud
The cloud was part of a storm brewing east of Dallas. Photo by Allison Not Allison
Dallas thunderhead cloud
Photographer Matt Johnson snapped photos and video of the storm from a park near his house. Photo by Matt Johnson
Dallas thunderhead cloud
Dallas cloud
Dallas thunderhead cloud
Dallas thunderhead cloud

A cool and captivating "thunderhead" cloud blossomed in the early evening sky in Dallas on March 27, transfixing drivers, photographers and videographers across North Texas. Part of a storm brewing east of Dallas, the cloud began building at about 8 pm and provided an exciting lightning show for nearly 90 minutes.

Videographer Matt Johnson, who dabbles in time-lapse photography as a hobby, said he began shooting at about 8:15 pm.

"My friend Stephen texted me, and said, 'Bro, this cloud is awesome,'" Johnson says. "I ran inside and grabbed all my stuff and was out the door in three minutes. I ran to a park near my house in Garland and set up my camera. It turned out pretty cool."

Johnson has a better-than-average awareness of weather conditions because his father is a pilot.

"He knows all about weather, so I got the weather bug from him," Johnson says. "I could tell it had to be a 30- or 50-mile high cloud.

Well-known Dallas photographer David Worthington grabbed a shot from the west levee, saying, "I wanna thank my good friend Steve Kowolski for rousting me out of my cave to get out and get this shot."

The cloud's mountainous shape and stunning white appearance made it look more like an iceberg in Antarctica than a puff of moisture in the sky. But what made it most exciting was the nonstop electrical activity, with streaks of white that illuminated it for nearly an hour.

The technical name for the cloud was a "dry convective thunderstorm." Rain never actually fell, but it made for an exciting visual come nightfall, as seen in this time-lapse video.

Dallas Storm Timelapse // March 27, 2014 from Matt Johnson @ WhoIsMatt.com on Vimeo.