Storm Chase May 20, 2012: Annular eclipse viewed from New Mexico


pictures available for licensing



I started back at the Wichita Inn in Wichita, Kansas after a fun day of tornado intercepts. With no significant possibility of supercells, I decided to check out the annular eclipse that would be best visible in New Mexico and points westward. Jason Persoff and Robert Balough also stayed at the hotel. After a quick brunch we headed south with a target of Lubbock to Clovis, New Mexico. We also convinced the newly engaged Canadian meteorologists, Dayna and Brad to join us rather than chase mushy storms in Oklahoma. In a caravan also including Simon Eng and John Mann, we drove south to Oklahoma City and west toward Amarillo. Instead of targeting storms, we wanted sunny areas and most of Oklahoma and parts of Texas were overcast. We stopped in Elk City to pick up some welding glass to view the eclipse. The skies mostly cleared by Amarillo. From Amarillo, we headed southwest and then slightly back north to avoid an area of clouds. We finally found a place to shoot some pictures. Photography was difficult as one couldn't look at the sun even to focus through the viewfinder, and I didn't trust the welding glass for my own eyes. Even without total darkness, the eclipse was an exciting and rare event to observe and photograph. After sunset, we all drove to Clovis, New Mexico.

A quick break for gas

Gravity wave clouds
viewed from I-40 in TX

Preparing for the eclipse

Photographing the eclipse

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All images Copyright 2012 William T. Hark