Tags archives: convection

  • Wheat and What Destroys It

  • Every year, hail and thunderstorm winds do millions of dollars in damage to crops across the nation's breadbasket—much of it wheat, and much of it in supercells.  Fortunately for the owners of this field, the dark, messy, heavy-precipitation (HP) supercell shown here slid just a few miles to the west and north, sparing this [...]
  • 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[...]
  • 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 [...]
  • 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[...]
  • 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[...]
  • Lava Lake Glow on Low Clouds

  • As the evening deepened and stratus clouds lowered over Kilauea caldera's highly active Halemaumau Crater, the lava lake rose, at times splashing distant gobs of fountain lava above the plane of the visible rim.  That was an uncommon sight, and one we were fortunate to witness.  The distinctive orange glow of the lava shone [...]
  • Between a Mesocyclone and a Tornado

  • The rising dust under this ragged but rapidly rotating wall cloud also was moving around in a closed circulation—just not as visually intensely as the clouds above.   If I had to guess, it was near the margins of the lower EF0 wind threshold of 65-mph three-second gusts, but of course this storm did not have a mobile radar o[...]
  • More Truck-Stop Thunder

  • A needed respite from the road turned into a marvelous electrical show in the sky outside a northern Oklahoma truck stop.  Several magnificent discharges split the rainy sky before the responsible elevated storm raced off to the east-northeast and weakened.  Looking at this alone, one wouldn't guess that feet behind me sat a[...]
  • Double Reflected Convective Pastels

  • A weakening supercell moved over cool outflow from earlier storms, combining with some fall foliage at ground level to dazzle who witnessed the spectacle with a brief but brilliant splash of pastel tones.  The dominant light source for the scene came from a strange direction, too:  northeast (left)!  Sunset light first was r[...]