Author archives: Roger Edwards

  • Solano Mesocyclonic

  • A long-lived, cyclic supercell gradually organized over the southern fringe of the Sangre de Cristo Range, taking nearly two hours just to move completely out of the mountains before it headed SE across the high plains and tablelands of northeastern New Mexico.  This big, broad and moderately rotating wall cloud represented [...]
  • Twilight Storm in the Wichita Mountains

  • Although this storm's updraft was so strongly tilted that its top was way off-screen to the right, it still maintained an updraft strong enough to separate charge--and brilliantly so!  This vivid internal flash outlined a wonderful array of bands and tiers, all transpiring beneath stars that speckled the cobalt tones of a spri[...]
  • Bolt beyond Backroad

  • This high-based dryline storm blasted a load of electricity through the cloud-ground gap, both to equalize charge on a temporary basis and to let us know that proceeding further down the Oklahoma red-dirt road would be riskier.   The threat there arose not only from lightning, but from just enough rain to turn the road into [...]
  • Scud over Turquoise Waters

  • Bits of fractocumulus scud and their shadows drift gently over shallow continental-shelf waters of the eastern Gulf of Mexico, just off Florida's west coast. offshore Saint Petersburg, FL (18 Aug 14) Looking NNE
  • Big Bell Supercell

  • Zigzagging northeastward across southwestern Oklahoma, my daughter and I had observed two supercells merge to produce this spectacular specimen.  A younger storm colliding from the south ran into a higher-based, longer-lasting and cleaner storm, which we had observed down by Hollis. The result of such a blend of storms usual[...]
  • Penetrated Stick

  • I shot this photo of one of Andrew's smallest documented damage effects 20 years to the day after it happened. The hurricane's winds flung a roofing washer into a stick, somehow, and it lay undisturbed in a corner of a South Miami parking lot until I picked it up a few days after the storm. Along with some framed images from[...]
  • Violent El Reno/Piedmont Wedge

  • We had driven down from the north and turned east, ahead of a supercell with a long-lived tornado that was reported to be crossing I-40 near El Reno. From a position SW of Piedmont, we waited patiently for its approach. A rain-wrapped tornado pair gradually became visible immersed  inside the hazy murk to our southwest, merg[...]
  • The Stacks of Reynisdrangar

  • Volcanic crags stubbornly stand after millennia of ferocious beatings from the far North Atlantic's icy gales and subpolar surf.   This day, however, the erosive forces relaxed.  A million twinkling diamonds surrounded the sea stacks, silhouetted before a distant stratus deck, rendering their temperament at once placid and o[...]
  • Lightning on Cheyenne Ridge

  • We thought the storm-observing day was nearly over after exiting the backside of an outflow-dominant complex of storms and marveling at its sunset mammatus display. Instead, in the southwestern half of the sky, crackles of distant thunder appeared from an intensifying left-moving storm moving generally in our direction, whil[...]
  • Optical Glory

  • One of the best ways to see a glory is from an aircraft overflying liquid-water clouds. Sunlight is backscattered toward the sun by uniformly sized cloud droplets, in a process loosely akin to the visualization of a rainbow (but with far smaller water particles). When observing a true glory, your eyes always will lie on a st[...]
  • Bigger than Bicentennial

  • One smooth but decidedly severe hailstone lies atop a fencepost, compared to a celebratory coin milled 34 years earlier. Conveniently, a quarter is an inch across; so this hail reached two inches in diameter, qualifying it as "significant" by conventional definition. Hailstones actually should be measured precisely with a ru[...]
  • Wall off Saga Bay Apartments

  • The most intense portions of Andrew's eyewall passed over this spot, stripping a poorly attached exterior wall off an apartment building in the Saga Bay development northeast of Homestead. [This was close to Burger King corporate headquarters, where Andrew's 16.9 foot storm tide is a South Florida record.] After the hurrican[...]