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  • Sunset through Vog

  • Vog is a cheap and easy mishmash of the words volcanic and smog, and is a notorious phenomenon on the Big Island of Hawaii.  The vog here comes from two active craters of Kilauea, including this one, shown producing the gases that turn to vog.  When lava enters the sea (that had stopped weeks before this photo), those famous[...]
  • Spotlit LP on the Great Plains

  • While observing a closer, more precip-dense supercell from its inflow region, another storm of low-precipitation character floated past in the opposite direction that was marvelous in its own way.  Double the fun!  This storm plied the southwesterlies just outside the shadow of its larger neighbor for about half an hour afte[...]
  • Anvil Shadowing Altocumulus

  • A small patch of altocumulus (Ac) is bisected by an anvil shadow from a supercell.  The Ac was moving rapidly from sunlight into shadow, which was SSW-NNE.  Storm observers can use cloud motions at different levels to get a rough idea about the wind shear.  In this case, I could tell there was good shear from the eastward sp[...]
  • Turquoise Core

  • To create this effect in thunderstorms, sunlight refracts through tens of thousands of feet of rain, hail and wet convective cloud mass, filtering out reds and leaving greens and blues.  The green hues preferentially exit areas of heavy precipitation with large drops and hailstones.  Aside from the potentially flooding rainf[...]
  • Hail Flood

  • Upper Dugout Creek gathered a large mass of both rain hail that fell from a memorable supercell and washed down assorted local drainages.  Since hail is ice, it floats, and was carried downstream by the overflowing creek, intermingling with assorted plant material and other detritus along the way.  The resulting mixed-compos[...]
  • Sunset Sail off the Kona Coast

  • Calm Pacific seas and a Hawaiian sunset:  what better way to close the day?   The warm scene of tropical sailing evokes calm, peace and serenity—states of being so direly needed in the rushed world of social media and continual distraction.  My request, therefore, is simple:  study this image, then close your eyes for a few [...]
  • Rainbow Falls, Big Island

  • This lovely, 80-ft plunge of the Wailuku River drains water runoff from both Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea lava flows, and feeds a turquoise pool surrounded by lush tropical greenery of the Big Island's eastern (windward) slopes.  Even at only 28 miles, this is Hawaii's longest river, and follows a steep gradient from the east slo[...]
  • Downward-Pointing Crepusculars

  • We often see crepuscular rays with an apparent upward aim.  In this case, the chunky young anvil from a nascent supercell spread across that part of the sky containing the sun, part of which can be seen through a hole in the cloud.  As with other crepusculars, the rays actually are parallel, but seem to spread away from each[...]
  • Electric Loop

  • During the trip to see the total solar eclipse, and on the day we left Oklahoma, I closed out a fine travel day by intercepting an elevated, nighttime storm over the Platte River.   It prolifically flung cloud-to-cloud and cloud-to-air lightning, including countless loops from cloud to air to cloud, of various sizes and shap[...]
  • Golden Streaks

  • One of the advantages of night shifts in the office park is seeing quiet sunrises from high atop, when time permits a quick break to zip on up.  Fortunately that was the case here, as two rooftop observers were blessed with this sight:  a streaky plume of convective cirrus, producing a small mammatus belt and trailing virga [...]
  • Circumhorizon Arc

  • We had arrived in the general target area of marginal afternoon storm potential, and decided to explore parts of the ironically named and almost wholly anthropogenic Nebraska National Forest.  Right after leaving, while cruising toward Thedford and a future day's rendezvous with supercells, an odd color effect that I couldn'[...]
  • Petrified Forest Landscape

  • The Petrified Forest sits in the badlands of a dry, high desert, but its presence has everything to do with the action of water.   Around 225 million years ago, in the late Triassic, mighty floods washed logs into low swales, burying them in sediment that later hardened to rock—the Chinle formation.   Over time, wood cells f[...]