Author archives: Roger Edwards

  • Thunderbird Frozen

  • Strange ice forms like this come about only through uncanny event sequences:  a brutally sharp cold blast flinging lake water against the shoreline with its logs already stained red by iron-rich mud, wave after wave splashed over until even the runs and drips solidified in single-digit to subzero temperatures.  Then as the w[...]
  • After the Corner Flow

  • In meteorology, "corner flow" usually refers to the area of upturning of inward-spiraling flow in an intense vortex (such as a tornado).  Here I make a bad pun of it, since this actually was the result of nontornadic, downburst flow at a (street) corner!   The lush thickness of green grass belies the very severe winds that b[...]
  • Looky Thar Pardner, A Storm over Yonder!

  • The backdrop of a supercell, with ragged wall cloud and wild, banded cloud formations overhead, offers a unique interpretation of two-dimensional art on the High Plains of eastern New Mexico.  This is one of two cutout-mural cowboys at the hilltop location astride US-285, each signed and designed by artist John Cerney. 9 [...]
  • Radial Rise

  • This was one of the most visually peculiar and symbolically striking sunrise formations I've ever witnessed, but the physical explanation is easy.  Nearly evenly spaced cirrus bands, aligned south to north across the southern sky, actually were parallel to each other.  As with slats in a set of vertical blinds, but more tran[...]
  • Wave-Spray Rime on Grass

  • Rime often forms from freezing fog, or spray blown off of bodies of water.  In this case, it was fine spray—flung several yards inland off the tops of waves crashing into Lake Thunderbird's shoreline, in bitter-cold and windy conditions.  The howling norther of the day before calmed down overnight, sunrise revealing a sparkl[...]
  • Cryptic Sky

  • This scene encapsulates the irony of the supercell.  For all of its striking beauty, it continually threatens grave consequences for those in its path: lightning (including lightning-started fires), severe wind, giant hail, and sometimes tornadoes.  This supercell ultimately would produce all of the above.  Conscientious sto[...]
  • Protection Supercell at Sunset

  • The supercell known as "Protection", after the name of a nearby Kansas town, showed off its knuckle-dragging strength before the sunset hour.  Then the storm  put on a dazzling reflective light and color show, here seen from just over the Oklahoma border. With the solitude of a dirt side road, the accompaniment of moist prai[...]
  • Knuckle Dragger

  • Growing by the minute, by means of multiple, intense updraft thrusts roaring upward from an increasingly moist source layer, this young low-precipitation (LP) supercell drifted eastward parallel to (and just north of) the Oklahoma-Kansas border.  Meanwhile we observed from a pleasant distance, enjoying whole-storm structural[...]
  • Lightning-Lit Left-Mover

  • This fascinating little anticyclonic supercell sped northeastward into the deepening twilight blue, sparking and hailing, twirling laminar skirts of cloud material in a clockwise dance across the remote Palo Duro Canyon country southwest of Goodnight, TX.  A "good night" it was for those of us fortunate enough to behold the [...]
  • Catchin' Rays

  • I had enjoyed a relaxing afternoon from the seat of a camp chair, cold Dr Pepper in hand.   Soon the fish would start biting, but before that, it was time to reel in the last rays of a marvelous day on a quiet southwest Florida beach and enjoy the deepening colors of this sunset event. Sanibel FL (16 Nov 15) Looking WSW [...]
  • Nebraska Prairie Whirl

  • Conditionally dangerous yet ultimately harmless, the visible part of this vortex eased across the sinewy roll of the central Nebraska landscape for nearly 15 minutes, metamorphosing from tentative funnel to elephant-trunk form, this, then a vaporous mimic of dental floss.  The tornado behaved itself, avoided substantial stru[...]
  • Snow Fog and Pumpjack at Sunrise

  • What can be more "Okie Winter" in theme than oil-drilling machinery rising through the morning fog, above a field of snow?  At ten inches of accumulation, this was the heaviest storm total around Norman since the multiple "footers" of the late 1980s, sampled in some of the other imagery here, and made a remarkable scene bene[...]