Nimbostratus on the High Plains

A line of strong to severe thunderstorms formed not far from the Front Range, cruising eastward over the top of a pool of cold, relatively stable air left behind by earlier storms in northeastern Colorado.  The moist air mass, blanketed with chunks and bands of fractus (scud), trended back into the slate darkness of the nimbostratus beneath the storms themselves.  This dark, brooding scene of impending gloom is, in some ways, a metaphor for the present and likely future of settlement in the High Plains, where well over a century and a half of sodbusting and plowing has been on the wane for several decades now, along with grazing, in many areas.  Before, during and long after any cultivation or colonization of the great American grasslands, the sky and its capricious effects exercise ultimate dominion over all developments beneath.  The very presence of the windmill itself is a testament to that.

6 W Cope CO (12 Jun 7) Looking W
39.6709, -102.954

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