Blog page

  • Two Mesocyclones and a CG at Sunset

  • This complex convective cluster had a lot to offer the attentive observer!  A wall cloud and weak mesocyclone headed eastward with the more northern, distant updraft, still accessing somewhat undisturbed inflow from the more precip-infused nearer storm.   The latter sported a vigorously rotating cloud base in the foreground,[...]
  • No Volcanoes in Oklahoma

  • On a hot, windy day, this is not what any rural resident wishes to see through the trees. Since Oklahoma doesn't have volcanoes, the nature of this cloud formation (big pyrocumulus, atop a smoke plume) was easy to guess on a record-hot summer day.  Pyrocumulus formation would continue through the rest of daylight. Though the[...]
  • Intimate View of Selfoss

  • Upstream from the more famous Dettifoss, Selfoss actually is a series of at least a dozen (depending on water levels) individual cascades that tumble over the side of a remarkably long, level cliff face that angles obliquely across the Jokulsa A Fjollum River.  The base of one of the bigger members of Selfoss is seen here, s[...]
  • Stop, Ice!

  • Though rather difficult to cite for violations, or to handcuff and heave into the stockade, this ice nevertheless decided to obey the law and come to a full stop before proceeding past the traffic sign. Especially during such treacherous motoring conditions, many drivers would be wise to follow the example of this frozen, in[...]
  • Bent Bolt

  • The cloud-to-ground portion of this stroke followed a remarkably unwavering path along the line of sight, with one very apparent exception.  Whatever compelled the step leader that preceded the visible flash to jump abruptly sideways and stay on that path for awhile, it did not appear to be outflow.  Fortunately the bolt was[...]
  • Lone Limb Dangling

  • One little limb lies across an electrical wire, somehow deposited there after being severed from a tree by the weight of deposited ice. The larger tree branch responsible for this little souvenir already had been cleared off the street beneath. Power was out in the town, thanks to many other lines being snapped loose under w[...]
  • Foggy Sunrise, Mono Lake

  • Mono Lake is a visual and geological delight under almost any setting, and this includes winter sunrises. On this frigid morning, with temperatures well down into the single digits, "steam fog" blew across the relatively warm water surface beneath an undulating blanket of stratus, that itself sometimes reached the surface as[...]
  • Core

  • This is a classical and well defined precipitation core, punctuating the skies above the beautiful High Plains wheat fields of eastern Colorado. Distinct shafts of rain and/or hail, such as the one just off the left side of the main core, sometimes are mistaken for tornadoes by the inexperienced spotter, but the sure clues i[...]
  • Sea Stack 'n Surf Sunset

  • What is a better way to close a summer day than a serene sunset beyond the surf, in the refreshingly clean and cool air of the Pacific Northwest coast? The stack in this zoom view is Dahdayla Island, a resistant block of rock once part of the coast, but now separated by the ceaseless erosional power of wave action. 1 W Mo[...]
  • Wintertime at Mono Lake

  • Through all the phases of water here, through all the natural and unnatural explanations for the origins of the tufa towers (they developed underwater when the lake was much higher), one truth stands: Mono Lake in the still of a cold day is a unique spectacle. Not another human being was in sight or earshot thanks to the chi[...]
  • Congestus Aerial

  • Our plane flew over, around, and occasionally through a large field of deep convective clouds that was erupting over the high country of northern Colorado, on approach to Denver's airport. The flight provided a clean and crisply defined look at this large field of cumulus congestus, with more mature towers and cumulonimbus i[...]
  • Busted Windshield from Within

  • Fortunately this wasn't my ride. Unfortunately, it was that of friends who were in a two-vehicle storm-intercept  caravan with me, somehow getting plunked by a rogue hailstone of at least three inches in diameter along the edge of a core.   We were headed back W, hoping to get a good sunset view of the storm's rear--just not[...]