Archive for the ‘Clouds’ Category

Beautiful Storm

February 17th, 2011 No comments

This is one of those images that just makes you stop and gawk. I can’t wait to shoot a picture like this myself someday.

Beautiful Storm

Categories: Clouds, Photography, Weather Tags:

Weather Word Wednesday : Glory

January 19th, 2011 1 comment

Have you ever been out hiking and looked down on a waterfall, surprised to see a round, rainbow colored halo? Or perhaps you’ve looked off towards a bank of clouds, with the sun at your back, and seen the same colored halo? If so, you’ve seen what meteorologists call a Glory.

Essentially, a Glory is “one or more sequences of faintly colored rings of light that can be seen by an observer around his own shadow cast on a water cloud (a cloud consisting mainly of small, uniform sized water droplets). It can also be seen on fog and exceptionally on dew.”  The glory can only be seen when the observer is directly between the sun and cloud of refracting water droplets.

Solar Glory

Solar glory at hot springs

Glories are not completely understood. The colored rings of the glory are caused by two-ray interference between “short” and “long” path surface waves – which are generated by light rays entering the droplets at diametrically opposite points (both rays suffer one internal reflection). Glories are often seen in association with a Brocken spectre, the apparently enormously magnified shadow of an observer, cast (when the Sun is low) upon the upper surfaces of clouds that are below the mountain upon which he or she stands. The name derives from the Brocken, the tallest peak of the Harz mountain range in Germany. Because the peak is above the cloud level, and the area is frequently misty, the condition of a shadow cast onto a cloud layer is relatively favored. The appearance of giant shadows that seemed to move by themselves due to the movement of the cloud layer (this movement is another part of the definition of the Brocken Spectre), and which were surrounded by optical glory halos, may have contributed to the reputation the Harz mountains hold as a refuge for witches and evil spirits.

The next time you have your back to the sun and clouds at your front, or are up high with clouds below, try and find a Glory on your shadow. If you have a camera with you, and see a Glory, send us a snapshot!

Source : Wikipedia

Amazing Wall Cloud Picture

January 18th, 2011 1 comment

I very much want to take pictures like this. I hoping to hit the plains states this next storm season!

Pretty Sky

January 2nd, 2011 No comments

Sky looked pretty this evening around 5PM…deep blue with nice cirrus clouds!

Categories: Clouds, Weather Tags: ,

Contrail Science

November 22nd, 2010 No comments

I stumbled (by using StumbleUpon!) an interesting website today called Contrail Science. The tagline for the site is “The Science and Pseudoscience of Contrails and Chemtrails,” and the current article on the home page is a very detailed explanation, using pictures, flight info and good science, about the alleged “missile launch” in Los Angeles a few weeks ago. The author of the site has numerous posts detailing the basics about contrails, some good stuff about contrail chemistry, and pictures galore! Contrails come in many shapes and sizes, and there are additional phenomena seen in the weather that act similarly to contrails. If you are at all interested in those trails you see in the sky, or want a lively debate on the “LA missile launch,” you should absolutely check out this site!

"LA Missile Launch"

Water Vapor Imagery

August 24th, 2010 No comments

I recently “discovered” on the local NWS website the Satellite Water Vapor Imagery data for our area, and I’m quite fascinated by it! The official description of this data is as follows:

Water vapor satellite imagery depicts moisture content in the middle and upper layers of the atmosphere. Lower level moisture is not depicted in these images. Moisture transport over large distances generally happens through the middle and upper layers of the atmosphere. Hence these images will depict moisture coming into the Southwest from the Gulf of Mexico or across Texas. Additionally, weak disturbances from the east are best tracked through water vapor imagery.

The imagery looks like this when viewed online. The is a screen capture of one frame of data:

Water Vapor Imagery

Water Vapor Imagery

Basically, what this shows is the amount of moisture that is in the upper atmosphere. This may be in the form of clouds that you see, but often it is not. Water vapor literally surrounds the earth, but is unevenly distributed due to things like oceans, lakes, rivers, deserts, arid areas, etc. For instance, in the image above, you can see a lot of water vapor coming up from the southwest into places like Arizona and New Mexico, which are traditionally dry regions. Areas like the Pacific Northwest, which are usually wet, have much less than normal. This is all due to seasonal shifts in winds and weather patterns, which change the flow of moisture around the planet. By looking at an image like this, you can get an idea of how much moisture is available in your area…moisture that could turn to rain or snow!

Amazingly Quick Storm Development

August 23rd, 2010 No comments

When I drove to work this morning, around 9AM, the sky was almost perfectly clear.  A few high cirrus clouds, but nothing aside from that…just blue sky. Below is a snapshot from my phone on what the sky looked like around 1:30PM today:

Quick Storm Development

Quick Storm Development

Since this picture was taken, our area has seen multiple Severe Thunderstorm alerts, along with several Flash Flood warnings! It absolutely amazes me how quickly the weather can turn in our area of the wood, and why it’s always important to keep an eye on weather when outside doing fun things. Dry washes and rivers can turn into raging torrents without a single drop falling in your particular area. Always know the weather!

Categories: Clouds, Monsoon, Weather Tags: , ,

View From The Top

July 30th, 2010 2 comments

I was flying to Seattle earlier this week, and snapped this picture from the plane. I love how clouds look from the top! Notice the vertical development punching it’s way through the deck!

View From The Top

View From The Top

Categories: Clouds, Weather Tags: ,

Website For Storm Photographers

July 8th, 2010 No comments

I have created a new website aimed at showing people the best locations to take lightning and storm pictures. It’s called Lightning Shot Spots and I just launched it today! So far it’s a bare bones site while I work to collect location data (provided by users like you!), but I have plans to develop it into a world class storm photography resources. So, head over, take a look, and please contribute a location if you have one. Thanks!

Vertical Development

June 30th, 2010 1 comment

When you start seeing vertical development in storm clouds, there’s a good chance rain is on the way. Here’s a picture of some clouds outside right now, and the associated radar image from my iPhone.

Categories: Clouds, Monsoon, Weather Tags: , ,