To be sure, the Great Plains has its moments. But time and time again, it is the Midwest - and specifically St. Louis - that comes through year after year for me in terms of memorable atmospheric displays. Saturday's event was yet another in the series of excellent storm outings I've had in and around this city. Severe thunderstorms developed west of the metro area by late afternoon, and rolled overhead at sunset. The display was nothing short of spectacular.
As the storm's gust front moved over downtown, the setting sun broke through from the west - bathing in deep orange what is normally an ominous, roiling dark gray mass. For the uninitiated, these "whale's mouth" formations (a storm chasing term) are simply the back side of a shelf cloud (here is an example of what one normally looks like). To have a feature like this directly illuminated by the sun is a rare thing indeed, and much more so to have it happen over a national landmark!
Gene Robertson and David Patterson were looking at this scene from the east across the river, where the view was equally fantastic. You can see their view here. Tony Laubach was on another storm as it crossed the river into Illinois, catching it as it produced large hail in the Fairmont City/Collinsville area - his images are here.
After sunset, the sky entertainment continued with a great lightning show over the Metro East: